Martinsville NASCAR: Bowman wins after spinning Hamlin, Championship four set - Motor Informed
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Martinsville NASCAR: Bowman wins after spinning Hamlin, Championship four set

Within the closing 25 of 501 laps, Bowman’s Hendrick Motorsport Chevrolet and title contender Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) battled side-by-side a number of occasions for the lead till Bowman bought free and knocked Hamlin right into a spin on lap 494.

As Hamlin dropped to an eventual 24th place, Bowman – who had dropped out of playoff competition after the Charlotte roval – escaped after the ultimate restart to attain a fourth win of 2021.

Hamlin nonetheless progressed to the Championship four race at Phoenix subsequent week on factors, together with fourth-placed Martin Truex Jr (JGR), 16th positioned defending champion Chase Elliott (Hendrick) and Kyle Larson (Hendrick) – who completed a lowly 14th having already booked his place with back-to-back wins at Texas and Kansas.

Busch – who had began Stage three from the rear after a dashing penalty – was wrecked by Brad Keselowski (Workforce Penske Ford) because the race ended, second and third not sufficient for both of them to progress as Busch misplaced out to Truex by three factors. Fellow Penske drivers Joey Logano (10th) and Ryan Blaney (11th) additionally missed out.

After the race, Bowman started a victory burnout celebration on the front-stretch solely to be confronted by Hamlin, the 2 vehicles dealing with off nose-to-nose. Hamlin afterwards labelled Bowman “an absolute hack”.

Explaining the incident, Bowman mentioned: “I simply bought free in. I bought in too deep, knocked him out of the way in which and actually let him have the lead again.

“For anyone that desires to assume I used to be making an attempt to crash him, clearly wasn’t the case contemplating I actually gave up the lead at Martinsville to provide it again to him.

“He’s been on the opposite facet of that, he’s crashed guys right here for wins.

“I hate doing it. Clearly, I don’t wish to crash any individual. I simply bought in, bought beneath him, spun him out.

“Regardless, we get a free grandfather clock, which is fairly particular. I struggled right here for a very long time.”

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally celebrates winning the Xfinity 500.

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally celebrates successful the Xfinity 500.

Picture by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images

Elliott had began the day strongly, passing polesitter Larson on lap 56 after which retaking the lead following a contest warning that handed the initiative again to Larson on lap 85, holding off his team-mate to take the Stage 1 win forward of Truex, William Byron and Keselowski.

Hamlin, whose automotive had twice failed pre-race inspection and been compelled to start out from the rear, was penalised for dashing within the pits through the first competitors warning in Stage 1 and was demoted to the rear of the sector as soon as once more.

The identical destiny befell Larson when Stage 2 bought underway, easing the trail for Elliott to clinch his Championship four spot by successful Stage 2.

He led till a warning for Austin Dillon’s puncture allowed Truex to leap to the entrance within the pits, just for Elliott to repass on lap 205.

Bowman adopted him to the flag in second, as Hamlin recovered to fifth behind Byron and Truex.

Within the third Stage, Logano had gambled on staying out beneath a warning attributable to contact between Ross Chastain and Ryan Newman, however the 2018 champion’s stint out entrance didn’t final lengthy as Elliott quickly powered previous on lap 351.

Following the 10th warning of the race when Daniel Suarez spun on lap 379, when Larson was once more despatched to the rear of the pack for pitlane dashing, Hamlin took the lead for the primary time by passing Truex – the latter involved that his automotive was pushing water and at risk of overheating.

Hamlin continued to guide following a crash for Dillon on lap 436, with Bowman rising as his closest challenger, and Elliott well-placed in third.

However the 2020 champion’s race was closely compromised when he was spun out by Keselowski shortly afterwards – resuming 21st after he had pitted beneath the ensuing warning.

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA Auto Parts, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto-Owners Insurance, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Halloween, Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Dent Wizard

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA Auto Components, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto-Homeowners Insurance coverage, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M’s Halloween, Brad Keselowski, Workforce Penske, Ford Mustang Dent Wizard

Picture by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

Two extra warning intervals involving incidents for Ricky Stenhouse Jr gave Keselowski a shot on the win he wanted to progress, as he moved into second behind Hamlin for a lap 478 restart.

It was Bowman although who powered to the lead, solely to see Hamlin reclaim it on lap 479. The fateful incident which decided the race occurred on lap 494, which led to time beyond regulation by which Bowman clinched the win.

Behind Truex, who rallied impressively to safe his Championship four place late on, Byron beat Aric Almirola to fifth spot, as Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, Chris Buescher and Logano accomplished the highest 10.

Martinsville NASCAR outcomes (501 laps):

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