Martinsville Speedway has mostly unpaved parking lots over a series of rolling hills, creating additional hazards; majority were still covered by snow on Sunday morning.
For most fans at the track Sunday, they understood that weather is unpredictable and you just never know with outdoor sports what's going to happen. The colder the track, the less rubber that gets laid down, and Johnson said his team will have to be smart watching for how much that changes throughout 500 laps.
Truex Jr. led a race-high 125 laps of the 200-lap event, soaring past the finish line 11.685 seconds ahead of Kyle Larson.
But Hamlin acknowledges it's pointless to dwell on something that happened almost five months ago. Later, in victory lane, Clint Bowyer hugged the Martinsville signature trophy grandfather clock, chugged several beers, and let his son soak in his first post-race celebration.
The Vegas favorite, Kyle Busch, is still looking for his first win of the season and very well may get it this Sunday.
Jimmie Johnson: The all-time active leader in victories at Martinsville needed a strong performance Monday to get his season back on track, and a 15th-place finish is just that.
The fastest cars so far at Martinsville are Fords and Toyotas. It all led to Denny Hamlin edging the field for the Stage 1 win.
Denny Hamlin can't escape the drama at Martinsville Speedway.
The spring race at Martinsville has run either the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April since 2006. The heavy damage will prevent him from winning.
Blaney was third, Martin Truex Jr. fourth and Kevin Harvick fifth. Last week's victor at the Auto Club in California, Truex, has excelled recently in his performance on short tracks. The race was halted after 23 laps.
Brad Keselowski was second in the stage followed by his Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney. And two weeks later at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Elliott returned the favor by roughing up Hamlin and ruining his chances to make the final race.
Truex was the fastest vehicle in practice Saturday morning.
Cup drivers had two sessions of practice Saturday, but qualifying was canceled because of weather. Green flag for the STP 500 is at 1pm on FOX.
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