Chase Elliott scores Truck victory at Martinsville

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Chase Elliott held off GMS Racing teammate Johnny Sauter late to win Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway.

Sauter finished second and was followed by Christopher Bell, rookie Noah Gragson and Ty Dillon.

Bell led with 17 laps left but made contact with Austin Cindric, who was trying to stay on the lead lap. The contact allowed Elliott and Sauter to get by.

MORE: Click here for Truck race results

More: Click here for Truck points report

Asked what he might want to tell Cindric, Bell said: “It’s 20 laps to go in the race, you’re going a lap down. If it’s not your day, it’s not your day. I don’t expect him to just wave me by. I do expect him to continue to run the line he was running, and the chicane down the front straightaway was not the line he had been running.”

On the restart with 12 laps to go, Elliott blocked Sauter and stayed ahead the rest of the way to earn his second career Truck series win – his other Truck win came in 2013 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

“He’s doing what he’s got to do to win the race,” Sauter said of Elliott’s block late. “I’d do the same thing.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Elliott

STAGE 2 WINNER: Johnny Sauter

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: After finishing 26th and 14th in the first two races of the season, Noah Gragson finished a career-high fourth. … Brett Moffitt started 15th and finished sixth, scoring his first top 10 of the season. … Ross Chastain recovered from a punctured tire early and a spin to finish seventh.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: John Hunter Nemechek‘s truck lost power and caused a caution on Lap 119. He later returned several laps down and finished 28th. … Austin Cindric finished 21st and the contact with Christopher Bell, who was leading at the time, will be what some will recall most about Cindric’s race after Bell failed to win.

NOTABLE: Chase Elliott is the sixth different winner in the last six Truck races at Martinsville. Previous winners: Darrell Wallace Jr., Joey Logano, Matt Crafton, Kyle Busch and Johnny Sauter.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Johnny (Sauter) and I raced really hard here in the fall, and I think that was a little different ballgame than what you had today. I think you can get a little more aggressive in today’s race and not have as quite as big an outcome if something were to go wrong” – race winner Chase Elliott.

NEXT: The series is off until racing May 12 at Kansas Speedway.

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