Kyle Busch Wins at Martinsville and Locked into NASCAR Championship Race [VIDEO, PHOTOS]

Kyle Busch won the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway and is the first driver to be locked into a spot in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race.

Sunday afternoon (10/29) the NASCAR Cup Series went “short trakin'” for the final time this season on the 0.526-mile track nicknamed “The Paperclip” because of the look of the track. The race was not without incident as there were 11 caution periods.

The final yellow flag waived when Denny Hamlin spun race leader Chase Elliott out on lap 499 of the scheduled 500 laps of racing. It looked as though Chase would get his first ever win in NASCAR’s top division and earn the automatic advance to Homestead-Miami with a chance to race for the championship until Denny spun the #24 Chevrolet out and sent the race into NASCAR’s overtime of a green-white-checkered finish.

When the race went back to green for the two-lap shoot-out Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. battled side-by-side for the win. The two cars came out of turn four on the track with Kyle edging out Martin for the win as most of the rest of the field began wrecking behind them.

The win is Kyle’s second at Martinsville Speedway in a cup cup, his third in the 2017 NASCAR playoffs and his fifth of the 2017 season. The win also clinches his spot among the four drivers that will get to race for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship in the last race of the season November 19th.

Martin Truex Jr. did claim a runner-up finish in the race Sunday afternoon. Clint Bowyer claimed the third place in the race. Brad Keselowski came across the finish line in fourth place with Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five. See the complete race results for the First Data 500 here.

Kyle Busch now sits at the top of the Chase Grid while Martin Truex Jr. holds the top spot in the point standings. Kyle is second in the points. Brad Keselowski sits in third place in points with Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson in fourth and fifth places respectively. See the complete Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings here.

The next race in the Round of Eight is at Texas Motor Speedway. The race is the AAA Texas 500 and will take place this Sunday, November 5th. That will be the next chance for the other seven remaining championship contenders to lock themselves into the NASCAR Championship Race as one of the four drivers eligible to win the championship title for 2017.

By: Buck Stevens