With clear skies over the speedway at Martinsville, Denny Hamlin took both the green and the checkered flags in the top spot.
“Who said it was over? It isn’t over.” Hamlin jokingly greeted the media post race. After dropping like a rock after starting on the pole, many thought Hamlin’s chances of pulling of the season sweep was slim.
Watching a Chevy dominate race, the bets were on to see if the Gibbs teams would bring their defensive game.
Jeff Burton and teammate Kevin Harvick made excellent bids as the most dominate cars on Sunday. Between them, RCR lead 231 of the 500 laps. Despite being teammates and sharing the domination on the track, the “love” was not being shown in the RCR camp as several times the two were seen bumping, rubbing, and roughing each other up on track.
The surprise of the Tums Fast Relief 500 wasn’t the triumphant victory of Virginia’s “favorite” chaser, but the second place finish of Hendrick driver Mark Martin. The No. 5 team struggled throughout the day. After starting the race in 21st Martin had worked his way into the top 15 before he and AJ Allmendinger got together on lap 227 giving the No. 5 car damage. Battling the odds they fought their way back to finish a solid second.
“We were two laps down and to be honest we were going to finish 28th. So, boy; what an incredible race car, man!” Martin said post race.
All told it was the Gibbs Toyota of Denny Hamlin who stole the glory. Sunday’s win was the 15th victory of his Sprint Cup Series career, his fourth win at Martinsville (the last three consecutive). Taking the race win closes the gap between him and Jimmie Johnson to 6 points. They now share the closest margin between first and second with four races remaining since the beginning of the “Chase format era”.
Unofficial Race Results
Tums Fast Relief 500, Martinsville Speedway
October 24, 2010 – Race 32 of 36
|7||0||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||151||5||500||Running|
|25||0||77||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||88||0||496||Running|
|29||0||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||76||0||473||Running|
|35||0||38||Travis Kvapil||Ford||58||0||423||In Pit|