Elliott took the lead on a late restart from Brad Keselowski after driving Keselowski up the track. Not long after Elliott did that, Hamlin was on his bumper entering turn three and spun Elliott into the wall.
On the ensuing — and final — restart, Busch got past Hamlin and beat Martin Truex Jr. to the line as Hamlin and much of the field behind them crashed.
After the race was over, Elliott and Hamlin exchanged words. Hamlin called the end of the race “complete bullsh*t chaos.”
“I got in the back of him and he spun out and somebody got in the back of me and I wrecked too — it was a mess at the end,” Hamlin said. “Everybody was doing the exact same thing. I hate it for his team. I understand that they’ve had a win for a long time coming but this is for a ticket to Homestead and I sure — I’m not sitting here saying I wrecked him on purpose, I tried to move him out of the way and he spun out.”
Hamlin also had this to say about Elliott’s corner entry.
“He didn’t make the corner because I had his back end jacked up, that’s for sure. I was extremely loose, I got in there too hot and I got into the back of him.”
“Well he come over and talked to me on the back straightaway and funny thing was he said somebody was pushing him,” Elliott said. “There wasn’t two car lengths between him and the next guy. So, my my mama always said if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. He’s not even worth my time. We’re going to go on to Texas.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished 11th, remarked he hadn’t seen a finish as chaotic as what happened Sunday night.
“But, man I can’t believe how everybody crossed the finish line,” Junior said. “I ain’t seen nothing like that, I ain’t seen it … I don’t know if I ever have seen it. Trying to think back. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like that. There was a wreck one time at Richmond before they ever reconfigured it in the Xfinity race on the front straightaway in like 1982 — that is the only thing I ever seen like it.”
The victory means Busch will be one of the four drivers racing for the championship on Nov. 19. And the crash means Elliott, who had a chance to be locked in like Busch, is now in last of the eight drivers vying for the four spots in the final race of the season.
Clint Bowyer finished third and Keselowski came back to finish fourth.
1. Kyle Busch [Win at Martinsville]
2. Martin Truex Jr., 67 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson
3. Brad Keselowski, 29 points ahead
4. Kevin Harvick, 3 points ahead
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Ryan Blaney, 6 points behind Harvick
7. Denny Hamlin, 8 points behind
8. Chase Elliott, 26 points behind
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