William Byron became the first NASCAR Cup Series two-time winner of 2022 at Martinsville Speedway Saturday night (4/9).
Chase Elliott looked to be the car to beat as he started from the pole in the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400. He was the leader of the race through the first 185 laps of the race. That earned him the win in both stage one and stage two of the race.
While cars did bump each other and bang together door-to-door in those first two stages, there were no caution periods other than the end of the stages. It was during that second caution at the end of stage two that the race outlook changed.
William Byron’s pit crew gained him the lead of the race during the pit stops. That gave him the control of the race and put Chase Elliott back in traffic where he had not been all race. Chase began falling back and would not challenge for the lead again in the race.
There were two caution periods during the third stage of the race. One was for debris on the track. The second was for a car hitting the wall with just five laps remaining in the race. That would put the race in the NASCAR overtime of a green-white-checkered.
William Byron chose to remain on the track and not pit to have the control of the re-start. Most of the cars behind him did the same thing. When the green flag waived William was able to keep the lead. He raced to the wind over those final two laps of the race. That made him the first multi-race winner of the season and definitively locked him in the post-season.
Joey Logano finished in second-place. Austin Dillon claimed third with Ryan Blaney (fourth) and Ross Chastain (fifth) rounding out the top five. See the complete race results for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 here.
Chase Elliott left Martinsville as the leader in the point standings. Ryan Blaney is in second-place with William Byron in third-place. Joey Logano holds fourth and Ross Chastain sits in fifth. See the complete NASCAR Cup Series point standings here.
The NASCAR Cup Series truly gets back to its roots next in the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway Easter Sunday.
By: Buck Stevens