Event: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 (Round 11 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (130 laps/130 laps/240 laps)
Start/Finish: 2nd/33rd (Battery, completed 476 of 500 laps)
Point Standing: 14th (264 points, 188 out of first)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130):
● Aric Almirola started second and finished 26th.
● Almirola led the first 19 laps of the race.
● On lap 29, he reported that “something is really wrong” and noted loose-handling conditions before he was scored a lap down on lap 56.
● The Smithfield Ford driver pitted under caution on lap 64 to learn that the right-front tire was worn out, among other drivers who started in the top-10.
● Almirola remained a lap down before the stage ended and pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):
● Almirola started 24th and finished 23rd.
● He remained one lap down and raced to maintain the lucky dog position.
● Almirola noted alternator issues and was forced to make changes in the car to save battery.
● He pitted at the end of the stage for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):
● Almirola started 21st and finished 33rd.
● Almirola pitted on lap 329 for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help loose-handling conditions.
● The No. 10 driver was forced to pit on lap 353 to change batteries due to the alternator issue, scoring him 13 laps down.
● Almirola was forced to pit again on lap 477 due to alternator issues.
● He returned to the track 19 laps down.
● Almirola brought the No. 10 Smithfield Ford to the garage with five laps to go due to continued electrical issues.
● Almirola led once for 19 laps to increase his laps-led total at Martinsville to 75.
● Martin Truex Jr. won the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 to score his 27th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Martinsville. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was 4.705 seconds.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 52 laps.
● Only 14 of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Harvick remains the championship leader after Martinsville with a 28-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was nice leading 19 laps there at the beginning. Everything went downhill from there. We found out we had issues with the right-front tire and then we had alternator issues. Looking forward to Homestead. Hopefully we got all the bugs out.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Homestead 400 on Sunday, June 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.