Byron holds off Logano in overtime for Martinsville NASCAR Cup win

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Byron dominated much of Saturday night’s race, leading 212 of 403 laps, but a late caution sent the event into a two-lap overtime and bunched the field one last time.

Byron cleared for the lead and took the white flag but Logano tried to get to his rear bumper off Turn 4 for a pass but couldn’t complete it and Byron took the checkered flag by 0.303 seconds for his first win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Byron, who won three weeks ago at Atlanta, ended the streak of seven different winners in the first seven races. It was also his fourth career victory.

Hendrick Motorsports drivers have now won four of the season’s first eight races.

“It feels awesome,” said Byron, who also won Thursday night’s Truck race at the track. “I knew when that last caution came out I thought everyone behind us would pit and luckily we stayed out.

“We were aggressive, we felt we could re-fire on the tires and you got one of the most aggressive guys behind you in Logano. I chattered the tires in (Turns) 3 and 4 and I left the bottom (lane) but was able to block my exits and get a good drive off.

“This one is for my mom (Dana). This same weekend last year she had kind of a mini-stroke and was diagnosed with brain cancer. It means a lot to have her here, and it’s been a crazy year, but she’s doing great, and thanks, everybody, for the support.

“I kind of felt like she was riding in there with me. It’s cool to have her here, and I’m definitely going to enjoy this one.”

Austin Dillon ended up third, Ryan Blaney was fourth and Ross Chastain rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Chase Briscoe and Chase Elliott, who started on the pole and led the first 185 laps.

The race was unusually calm by Martinsville standards, with only four cautions – two of which were for stage breaks. There were five lead changes among four drivers but a couple were the result of a round of green-flag pit stops in the final stage.

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Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, the lead-lap cars all pit with Byron the first off pit road. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was penalized for speeding on pit road and Cole Custer was penalized for an uncontrolled tire as both had to restart from the rear of the field.

On the restart on Lap 193, Byron was followed by Elliott, Blaney, Logano and Austin Dillon.

With 150 laps remaining in the race, Byron maintained a about a half-second lead over Elliott as Logano ran third.

On Lap 280, Logano nudged his way around Elliott to move into the second spot and Blaney made his way into third. Elliott fell back to fifth.

Kyle Busch on Lap 291 was the first driver to hit pit road to kick off a round of green-flag stops to take tires and fuel to make it to the end of the race.

Right after making his stop, Martin Truex Jr. slowed on the track with a flat tire but was able to make his way back to pit stop.

Christopher Bell was penalized for having crew members over the wall too soon and had to serve a pass-through penalty. Kyle Larson was penalized for speeding on pit road and also had to serve a pass-through penalty.

Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 309, Byron returned to the lead. He was followed by Logano and Austin Dillon.

On Lap 312, Denny Hamlin slowed on the track and couldn’t re-fire his No. 11 Toyota, which brought out a caution.

Several cars elected to pit – including Elliott, Harvick, Kyle Busch and Erik Jones – but Byron remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 321. He was followed by Logano and Austin Dillon.

With 50 laps to go, Byron had built a 1-second lead over Austin Dillon, while Logano remained in third.

With 20 laps remaining, Byron’s lead had expanded to 1.5 seconds over Austin Dillon. Logano was third, Kurt Busch fourth and Blaney fifth.

On Lap 394, Todd Gilliland hit the wall in Turns 3 and 4 to bring out a caution. Only a handful of cars elected to pit.

The race headed into overtime with Byron still out front, followed by Austin Dillon and Logano.

Stage 2

Elliott not only took the Stage 2 win over Byron but did so by leading the first 180 laps of the race.

Logano finished third, Blaney fourth and Custer rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all the lead-lap cars pit with Elliott the first off pit road. Bubba Wallace and Brad Keselowski both had to restart from the rear of the field – Wallace for having a crew member over the wall too soon and Keselowski for equipment interference.

On the restart on Lap 92, Elliott was followed by Byron, Bell, Almirola and Custer.

With 50 laps remaining in the stage, Elliott had built about a 1-second lead over Byron as Custer ran in third.

With 32 laps to go, Logano was one of the few drivers able to gain serious ground and had moved into fourth.

On Lap 159, Logano had charged to third and set his sights on challenging Byron for the second spot.

With five laps remaining, Elliott continued to hold about a 1-second lead over Byron as Logano ran in third, 1.8 seconds back.

Stage 1

Elliott held off a determined Byron to take the Stage 1 win, his first stage victory of the 2022 season. Elliott led all 80 laps.

Custer was third, Bell was fourth and Almirola rounded out the top-five.

Elliott started on the pole and took early command of the race, running out to a 2.5-second lead after 30 laps.

With 40 laps remaining in the first stage, Elliott’s lead had grown to 3.1 seconds over Custer with Byron close behind in third.

On Lap 41, Byron got around Custer in Turn 2 to move into the second position.

With 25 laps to go, Elliott lead over Byron had dipped under 2 seconds as Custer ran third, Bell fourth and Almirola fifth.

A.J. Allmendinger’s No. 16 Chevrolet failed pre-qualifying inspection three times on Friday and he had to perform a pass-through penalty on pit road after taking the green flag on Saturday night.

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