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: 27th/29th (Running, completed 494 of 500 laps)
Point Standing: 26th with 166 points, 286 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):
● Cole Custer started 31st and finished 29th.
● On lap 40, Custer told the crew his HaasTooling.com/Jacob Construction Mustang was tight while running 24th.
● At the lap-60 competition caution, Custer pitted from 33rd with an extremely tight-handling Mustang. He restarted 30th.
● On the lap-114 caution, the Ford driver was 30th and reported his tight condition had improved a little bit.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):
● Custer started 28th, finished 28th.
● On lap 209, Custer reported he got into the wall a little bit, but was able to continue with the race pace.
● The entire stage ran under green and Custer continued to battle with a tight-handling Mustang.
● During the stage break Custer pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):
● Custer started 28th, finished 29th.
● Custer reported his Mustang was still “way too tight” in the early going of the stage.
● The 22-year-old visited pit road during a caution on lap 325 for fuel, four tires and an air pressure adjustment.
● The California native was 29th when the next caution was displayed on lap 388. Custer stayed out and waved around to get one lap back. Restarted 27th.
● Made scheduled green-flag pit stop from 27th on lap 479 for fuel, four tires and adjustments.
● The remainder of the stage ran under green and Custer finished 29th.
● Custer made his 14th career NASCAR Cup Series start and his first at Martinsville.
● 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.
● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Martinsville with a 28-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.
Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com/Jacob Construction Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“That’s about the most frustrating race I’ve been a part of. It’s tough not having any practice and being a rookie, especially at a place like Martinsville that I haven’t raced at in a few years. We’ll be better next week.”
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.