It is a recurring incident, one incident can change the outlook on how a title picture comes. It also is common for those moments to happen on a track that is less than a mile in length.
When both happen at once…it makes for a race to remember.
Martinsville gave everyone that, and then some. It appeared to be a battle between the home-state boy and the young man who has garnered the “bridesmaid” finish more times than he prefers. Denny Hamlin vs. Chase Elliott, one restart, and when eventually occurred was one major bump.
Elliott ended up facing the wall, and waited till after the checkered flag to express his displeasure.
Hamlin continued on, battling on the overtime restart to possibly steal the win away, and possibly a lot of anger from the fans. Instead, it was a teammate that made the right move at the right moment to achieve victory. It got a little spooky, and a little Rowdy, when the lights came on, and Kyle Busch decided to secure his second grandfather clock. But, he also assured himself a spot in the championship battle, hoping to win his second championship, and what would be his first that didn’t come with him having a waiver.
His win on Sunday gave one of the participants the first free pass into going for a championship. That also means a change in the lead, and a bit of shuffling. Here’s your playoff standings after an intense, and chaotic, First Data 500:
Sal Sigala Jr. (4094) Kyle Busch WON –  2 41*
Ashley Hobbs (4071) Denny Hamlin finished 7th –  2 40
Misan Akuya (4069) Denny Hamlin finished 7th –  0 38
Ashley Hull (4067) Jimmie Johnson finished 12th –  2 34
Billy Fellin (4053) Jimmie Johnson finished 12th –  1 20
Rob Tiongson (4050) Denny Hamlin finished 7th –  1 19
Rob Blount (4047) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th –  1 21
Patti Rodisch (2250) Denny Hamlin finished 7th – 
Penny Whitecotton (2242) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 
Ashley McCubbin (2210) Denny Hamlin finished 7th – 
Dalton Hastings (2209) Jimmie Johnson finished 12th – 
Dustin Parks (2208) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th – 
Klarissa Mitchell (2148) NO PICK SENT – 
*Locked into Championship Round
Next Race: Considering it was a shootout under the lights, which became a true shootout between drivers both on the last caution and the final restart, it is extremely ironic that the next shootout is really happening in cowboy country.
Race two of round three is a trip to the deep south, on a day where the clocks get turned back an hour, and daylight disappears quicker.
Saddle up, because Texas is next on the docket, and picks are to be locked in by Thursday, November 2, at 10 p.m. ET for the AAA Texas 500.