MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Denny Hamlin ducked under Matt Crafton with five laps to go and won the NASCAR Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway on a day when the points lead was significantly jumbled with three races remaining.
The victory Saturday was Hamlin’s second in the series, both on NASCAR’s oldest track. It came after he missed the drivers’ meeting because it conflicted with the final minutes of Sprint Cup practice, and had to start at the rear of the field.
The tricky layout proved more problematic for the championship contenders, and knocked Ty Dillon from the lead he has held since mid-September. Dillon, running sixth, cut a tire with 48 laps to go, spent significant time on pit road and finished 28th, and fell 21 points behind James Buescher.
Buescher, who started the day one point behind Dillon, at one point was running 28th and also went a lap down. He got it back as the “lucky dog” on a restart, and rallied to finish sixth, good enough to take to lead.
Dillon is second, and pole-sitter Timothy Peters is third, 25 points back.
At Martinsville, Va.
Lap length: .526 miles
|2||4||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Chevy||200||42|
|18||26||John Wes Townley||Toyota||200||26|
|27||33||Tim George Jr.||Chevy||197||17|
|33||16||Ron Hornaday Jr.||Chevy||136||11|
*Reason out: 1-transmission, 2-oil pump, 3-clutch.
Average Speed of Winner: 69.579 mph. Time: 1:30.43. Margin of Victory: 1.932 seconds. Caution Flags: 7 for 40 laps. Lead Changes: 7 among 5 drivers.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led):
Top 5 in Points: 1. J.Buescher, 716; 2. T.Dillon, 695; 3. T.Peters, 691; 4. P.Kligerman, 680; 5. J.Coulter, 670.