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Jones overtakes Gibbs at Martinsville; pit-road combat ensues | Sports



MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Brandon Jones overtook Ty Gibbs on the final lap of a two-lap dash to the end and gained at Martinsville Speedway on Friday night time for his fifth profession victory, and one which set off a brawl on pit street when it was over.

On the ultimate restart, which adopted various cautions, Gibbs opted to begin on the within lane, and needed to outrun Jones, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, additionally on the within whereas operating second. Jones bought inside him a number of occasions, then lastly grabbed the highest spot whereas Gibbs bought caught up in a large number.

“What a day,” Jones stated after climbing from his automobile. “I can not say that we may have performed it out any higher. … I had older tires than all these guys on the finish.”

When it was over, Gibbs and longtime rival Sam Mayer, each of whom have been racing for a $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus, got here to blows on pit street. Gibbs was carrying his helmet, whereas Mayer was not, and when Mayer pushed him, Gibbs threw a punch and so they got here collectively in a melee as others tried to interrupt it up.

“I tried to talk to him and he got all in my face and at that point, we’ve got to start fighting,” Gibbs stated. “We got put in a bad position there. The only thing I’m mad about is (Mayer) didn’t have anything. He wasn’t going to get past (third-place finisher A.J. Allmendinger) and I just got hit in the left rear.”

But, Gibbs acknowledged, every week in the past at Richmond Raceway, it was he who needed to apologize to teammate John Hunter Nemechek for nudging him on the ultimate lap to assert the victory, his series-best third by seven races.

Instead of a fourth win Friday night time, he completed eighth.

Before the wild end, Gibbs had emerged unscathed every time the final a number of of 16 yellow flags flew as vehicles spun behind him. Much of the sector then crashed on the primary try at a two-lap extra time dash to the end when Mayer, operating second, precipitated Noah Gragson, operating third, to spin, inflicting a serious pileup even earlier than the sector made it into the primary flip.

That was the ultimate warning of the chilly night time and introduced out a pink flag that lasted slightly below 20 minutes, setting the stage for the drama on the end.

Landon Cassill got here from nowhere to complete second, the primary of 4 Chevrolets behind Jones’ Toyota as Allmendinger was third — and claimed the $100,000 bonus — adopted by Austin Hill and Mayer.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who made his first profession begin on the 0.526-mile oval in his annual foray into the sequence, began on the again, by no means contended and was eleventh.

It additionally was a troublesome end for factors chief Gragson, who ran up entrance for a lot of the night time however was relegated to twentieth place after Mayer took him out.

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