Oh Monday, how much it is loathed by all. When you are a race fan, Mondays are even worse, especially when it comes to rain delays. This time, when it came to Martinsville, it was a snow delay.
Apparently Mother Nature has never been a fan of NASCAR, and this time she threw a twist in the weekend with her sudden snow storm during the early part of spring. At least when the green flag waved on Monday there was only a chill in the air, rather than snow.
It certainly was worth the wait, although it wasn’t exactly a typical Martinsville race.
But then again, this has always been a track where things are just a little different. After all, this track is famous for a hot dog, and a trophy. The trophy itself is as big as the driver, and is one that doesn’t get displayed on a mantle or a shelf, but rather gets a place to stand on the floor as a display.
When a driver is able to get a win here, either for the first time or again, being able to take home a grandfather clock is an experience.
Then to see a team that was in a rebuilding season a year ago, and sees the success of a fellow driver in the stable, finally get a win with its new driver, who himself was finding resurgence, it makes it worth the experience.
The jubilation on the face of Clint Bowyer after he climbed out of the car, and onto the roof, was beyond any celebration seen so far this season. Sure the car may not pass the post-race inspection because of the bulge in the roof, but it may have been worth it. To see the expression on his face, the smile, and even him throwing caution to the sensors by asking for a beer and cussing live on television, it all was worth it.
Add in the fact that his home-state Kansas Jayhawks are in the NCAA Final Four, it is a perfect weekend for Bowyer and his Stewart-Haas team.
Not bad for a Monday afternoon.
STAGE 1: Denny Hamlin
STAGE 2: Ryan Blaney
RESULTS: 1-Bowyer 2-Kyle Busch 3-Blaney 4-Truex Jr. 5-Harvick 6-Logano 7-Bowman 8-Allmendinger 9-Elliott 10-Keselowski
NOTABLE FINISHES: 12-Hamlin 15-Johnson 30-Dillon
CAUTIONS: 4 for 33 laps. Laps: 52-56 (Competition caution); 132-142 (Stage 1 conclusion); 262-271 (Stage 2 conclusion); 385-391 (#1 and 3 Incident in Turn 2).
LEAD CHANGES: 11 among 6 drivers. M. Truex Jr. 1-4; Kyle Busch 5-26; D. Hamlin 27-51; Kyle Busch 52; D. Hamlin 53-135; B. Keselowski 136; R. Blaney 137-142; D.
Hamlin 143-145; R. Blaney 146-284; C. Bowyer 285-385; Kyle Busch 386; C. Bowyer 387-500.
TIME OF RACE: 3 Hrs, 13 Mins, 14 Secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 81.663 MPH
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.146 Seconds
POINT STANDINGS (Earned/Behind Leader [Playoff Points]): 1. Kyle Busch, 257 ; 2. Truex Jr, -8 ; 3. Blaney, -24 ; 4. Logano, -25; 5. Keselowski, -31 ; 6. Hamlin, -40 ; 7. Harvick, -45 ; 8. Bowyer, -47 ; 9. Larson, -62; 10. Kurt Busch, -80 .