Elliott Wins Martinsville Truck Race

Chase Elliott

Elliott became the third different winner in the first three races of 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Chase Elliott won Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

Elliott scored his second career series win as he drove his GMS Racing Chevrolet to Victory Lane. Elliott’s first win came in 2013 when he took the checkered flag at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

“It’s so great to win at Martinsville,” Elliott said. “That was a fun short track race and I hope it leads to more tomorrow (in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500).”

Elliott took advantage of contact between Christopher Bell and Austin Cindric to speed by for the top spot on lap 234 and was able stay in front the rest of the way.

“Obviously, we had a little help with (Bell’s) misfortune, but once we got by him, I thought our truck was a little better than his,” Elliott said. “That last restart was wild. It was just a matter of getting by (Sauter) quickly and doing it decently, in a quick manner. Luckily, we only had to do it once with it staying green until the end.”

Elliott led twice for 92 laps including the final 17.

Johnny Sauter finished second to give GMS a 1-2 finish, but the veteran driver was disappointed with the finish.

"Chase did whatever he had to do to win the race,” Sauter said of his battle for the lead. “He threw a big block. Next time, I'll do what I got to do." 

Elliott explained his side of what took place on track.

“Johnny was coming and I had been trying to pressure (Bell) for laps and laps and laps and that’s the one downfall when you’re the leader, you can’t control what those guys are going to do ahead of you,” Elliott said.

“Johnny was coming to pressure me and it was time to either go or not.”

Sauter was also not pleased with how NASCAR handled opening pit road after stages ended.

“They need to figure out when pit road is going to be open and when it’s not going to be open,” Sauter said. "We they don’t open it up for the leaders and then open it up for everyone else, it’s pretty crappy.”

Bell, Noah Gragson and Ty Dillon rounded out the top five.

“Looking back at it, I should have given myself another corner and maybe the result would have been different,” Bell said of his tangle trying to pass Cindric.. “It’s going to take a little bit to get over this one, but we’ll be fresh for Kansas.”

Brett Moffitt, Ross Chastain, Timothy Peters, Matt Crafton and Ryan Truex completed the first 10 finishers.

Elliott and Sauter won the opening two stages.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action on Friday night, May 12 at Kansas Speedway.

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