Kyle Busch won the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday, beating runner up AJ Allmendinger to the finish line in the 500 lap affair following a late-race restart on Lap 489.
With the win, Busch completed the first-ever sweep of Martinsville, having won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on the half-mile track the day before. He led 352 of 500 laps, and also led the final 173 laps consecutively after passing teammate Matt Kenseth on Lap 427.
“I can’t say enough about this whole JGR team,” Busch told NASCAR.com post-race. “The (No. 18) M&M’s Camry was awesome in practice (on Saturday). We had a really good car through practice, and (crew chief) Adam (Stevens) made some really good adjustments overnight to keep us where we needed to be, running up front all day.”
Allmendinger, who tied his career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup finish on an oval track with the runner-up result, attempted to catch Busch in the final laps to no avail. The Toyota driver managed to pull out 0.663 seconds on the Allmendinger and his Chevy in the final 11 laps, with Allmendinger later saying their car didn’t have the short run speed to hang with the reigning champ.
“We got our car really, really good on the long runs,” Allmendinger said. “That’s kind of where I thought we shined. We didn’t have great short-run speed, but after about 30, 40 laps we could really get rolling there. I was kind of hoping we’d stay green the last 120 laps. I figured that wasn’t going to happen, but I was praying we had a shot at that, because I felt like if that happened, we had a great chance to win the race.”
Team Chevy’s Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon put in strong performances Sunday, coming home in third and fourth, respectively. Ford’s Brad Keselowski was fifth followed by Toyota’s Carl Edwards in sixth and Chevy’s Brian Vickers, Paul Menard, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman in seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth.