Martin Truex, Jr. won Sunday’s First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway and now won three of the seven 2019 Playoff races and secured a spot in the Championship 4. While driving the No. 19 Toyota Camry, Truex finally conquered the half-mile and led 464 laps while doing so.
“I can’t believe we just won Martinsville, man. Miami is awesome, but we’ve wanted to win here for a long time, but the guys have worked so hard, I’ve worked so hard. I used to just be terrible here, and just an awesome bunch of guys. What can I say, Auto Owners, Bass Pro, TRD, everybody back at the shop, brand new race car, and again, it still wants to keep going.” Truex said.
This win is the seventh win of the season, ninth career Playoff victory and his 26th career win for Truex.
Truex in unsure if being locked into the championship 4 is good.
“I’ll let you know in three weeks. I really don’t know. We’ve never done it this way. We’ve always pointed our way in through the third round. This is the first time we’ve won at one of these tracks, so I mean, they still give out trophies and money the next two weeks, we’re going to go after them.” Truex said.
William Bryon ran great all day and contended for the win late in the race.
“Our car bounced a little bit on the short run, which was tough to kind of get around, but overall it was a really good day. This isn’t a place that I’ve loved coming to, and it just clicked this weekend. The things we did with the car going into qualifying and then obviously our race. So, I’m super excited, but second is not super fun either. So, we’ll try to get one spot better next time.” Bryon said.
Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano had a discussion about contact late in the race and then a fight broke out on pit road after the race and the crews had to protect their drivers.
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“I got close off of Turn 4 and it looks like we got together and it looks like collateral damage. He blew a tire. I mean, he would probably say, oh, short track racing.”
“We were having a discussion and everything was civil and then like Joey (Logano) does, he gives a little push and runs away. That’s Joey. I mean he said ‘you want to go?’ I said ‘yes, I’m here,’ but then he runs away.” Hamlin added.
“I got fenced down the straightaway and just went to talk about it. I was a little frustrated by the situation and I went down to talk to him and didn’t really get the answers I was looking for.” Logano said.
Ryan Blaney has a great day and finished fifth.
“We were in the top five all day and I thought we had a good shot at second. We weren’t good on short runs. We were terrible for probably 30-40 laps and then we’d come alive and be great, but just didn’t have the speed.”
Chase Elliott had an engine failure in practice and a mechanical issue on Lap 183 and finished 36th
“Just disappointing for a day like that. We know better and we can do better than that.”