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Winners and losers from Sunday’s Martinsville races

Joe Gibbs Racing's Martin Truex Jr. came alive late at the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500, passing Denny Hamlin with 16 laps to go to earn his second Cup win of 2021.

Here is a look at the winners and losers from Martinsville Spedway:


Martin Truex Jr. — Remember when he couldn’t win at a short track? He finally broke the streak in April 2019 at Richmond. His victory Sunday at Martinsville gives him five wins in the last 11 short track races. He’s won three of the last four at Martinsville. “Being consistent at these short tracks, it comes down to people and equipment, that belief in each other,” Truex said after he became the only multiple winner in Cup this season.

Joe Gibbs Racing — The team placed all four of its cars in the top 10. Martin Truex Jr. won, Denny Hamlin finished third, Christopher Bell placed seventh, Kyle Busch was 10th.

Chase Elliott — It has been an up-and-down season for the reigning series champ, but he finished second Sunday. “Just nice to have an uneventful day, so to speak. Just have some nice stage points, have a nice finish, those things are always nice. I feel like we had a mistake-free day, which is what you have to have.”

Josh Berry — Feel-good moment of Sunday. The Late Model star, who has run select Xfinity races for JR Motorsports, scored his first Xfinity win. His Martinsville victory even had car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. saying he cried afterward.


Ryan Blaney — Won both stages, but he saw his hopes for a victory end on pit road when he ran over an air hose and dragged it out of the box for a penalty on Lap 454. He finished 11th on a day he could have scored his second win of the season.

Corey LaJoie — He entered pit road ninth on Lap 373 but contact while exiting his stall damaged the front of his car, ending his race. He finished last in the 37-car field after the misfortune.

Gray Gaulding and Joe Graf Jr. — After making contact on the track in the Xfinity race, they fought off it. Gaulding told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “Oh yeah, I 100% wrecked him, and I’d do it again all over again. I might have to do it again when we get back to Talladega.” Graf told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “I went to have words with him afterward and then he mouthed off to me and there were some punches thrown. I landed a couple.”