Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400
Date: April 9, 2022
Event: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 (Round 8 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/100 laps/220 laps)
Note: Race extended three laps past its scheduled 400-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
SHR Race Finish:
● Aric Almirola (Started 2nd, Finished 8th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 19th, Finished 9th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 6th, Finished 14th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 3rd, Finished 21st / Running, completed 402 of 403 laps)
● Aric Almirola (8th with 223 points, 65 out of first)
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 222 points, 66 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (11th with 220 points, 68 out of first)
● Cole Custer (24th with 135 points, 153 out of first)
● Almirola earned his fourth top-10 of the season and his seventh top-10 in 27 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville.
● This was Almirola’s second straight top-10 at Martinsville. He finished sixth in the series’ prior visit to the track last October.
● Almirola finished fifth in Stage 1 to earn six bonus points and seventh in Stage 2 to earn four more bonus points.
● Briscoe earned his third top-10 of the season and his first top-10 in three career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville.
● Briscoe’s ninth-place finish bettered his previous best result at Martinsville – 22nd, earned last October.
● Harvick finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and 10th in Stage 2 to earn another bonus point.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only one finish outside of the top-20 at Martinsville (33rd in October 2014).
● Custer finished third in Stage 1 to earn eight bonus points and fifth in Stage 2 to earn an additional six bonus points.
● William Byron won the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 to score his fourth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Martinsville. His margin over second-place Joey Logano was .303 of a second.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 36 laps.
● Only 19 of the 36 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Chase Elliott remains the championship leader after Martinsville with a three-point advantage over second-place Ryan Blaney.
“We had a great Smithfield Spirals Ford Mustang tonight. It was a challenge at times. The track position game was so tough. I mean, everybody would just start running the same speed after about 30 laps, but our car would take off OK, and then it would just build looser and looser in. I rolled the middle good enough and I launched off the corner good, but I couldn’t quite keep the pace as those guys that were ahead of us. All in all, it was a solid night for us, bouncing back after a couple finishes that weren’t great, so Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) and all the boys have been doing a good job. Hopefully, we can get back on a string of running up front because if we run up front, we’ll have a shot to win.” – Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Spirals Ford Mustang
“I wish I could get my qualifying lap back after seeing how crucial track position was. That was definitely unfortunate. I wish it would’ve turned out better. We continued to make the car better and I was able to make some passes and was really good on the long run, so we’ll see if we can apply anything when we come back later in the year. Overall, it was great to get another top-10.” – Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Food City Dirt Race on Sunday, April 17 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!