Despite a late race flat tire that necessitated an unplanned pit stop, Denny Hamlin raced like a madman down the stretch and took the checkered flag at Monday's Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 NASCAR race at West Virginia's Martinsville Speedway. It was Hamlin's third career victory on the oldest track on the NASCAR circuit.
Hamlin's success at the track didn't escape unnoticed by NASCAR betting enthusiasts, and those that backed him as a +750 choice to win received a nice payday. Series points leader Jimmie Johnson was the betting favorite for the race. Hamlin won the fall race at Martinsville last year and won this race in 2008.
Giving up the lead with ten laps remaining to head to the pit for fresh tires, Hamlin drove like a man possessed to regain the lead and take the victory. He somehow moved from 9th place to the lead in just four laps, and talked about his wild ride after the race:
"That's hard to do. I had to bully my way through there towards the end, but everybody was just running into everyone. I flattened my tire with Matt Kenseth going down the backstretch and just somehow made it work."
Hamlin got around seven time Martinsville winner Jeff Gordon with help from teammate Joey Logano in the shootout during the final laps and held on for the victory. Race favorite Jimmie Johnson finished 9th, which was good enough to give him the overall series points lead. Greg Biffle is second in the standings, with Matt Kenseth in third.
NASCAR will head to Phoenix, Arizona for the Subway Fresh Fit 600 a week from Saturday before moving on to Texas for a race April 18th. They'll then head to the superspeedway at Talladega, Alabama on April 25th for what will be the second NASCAR race of the season on a restrictor plate track.
Ross Everett is a widely published freelance writer and respected authority on football betting
. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook directory
sites. He lives in Southern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.