Xfinity 500 Race Review

          The Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway had some amazing moments in it.  However, the last lap might have had the greatest moment in NASCAR history happen. But before we get to that, let’s remember the race itself.

         The race started out with Denny Hamlin winning both stages before the first real incident-caused caution to happen, with Ross Chastain driving in the corner too deep and spinning Brad Keselowski. Both cars were undamaged and ended up being able to continue, only losing some track position. The race restarted and ran green until Austin Dillon would smack the wall hard in turn three, ending his day. We saw two more cautions, the last set up a nearly 30-lap sprint to the finish. Playoff driver Chase Briscoe essentially needed a win to make the final four, so he stayed out on old tires in hopes he could maintain his lead and get the win. As the race restarted it seemed to work as he pulled out to a solid-sized lead over the field. 

Meanwhile, the two playoff drivers trying to fight to make it in on points, Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin, were duking it out, making contact, and nearly wrecking each other in the process. Both these drivers have had a rivalry the whole year, and now only a few points separated who would make and miss the cut to race for a championship. Chastain eventually let Hamlin by making his lead on Hamlin by only one point. With five to go, playoff driver Christopher Bell, who had driven his way through the field all day needing a win as well for the championship four, bumped Chase Briscoe out of the way for the lead and pulled away. Denny Hamlin passed more cars in the meanwhile, making him two points above Chastain. 

On the last lap, Christopher Bell secured his spot in the final four, winning the race in a must-win situation. Just as it seemed that Hamlin would make it in as well, Ross Chastain pulled a Bonzi move putting it in fifth gear and full-throttling it against the wall. Chastain would end up somehow passing five cars and Hamlin in the process to make the final four. This move is something that has never been seen before in the history of racing and is now a viral move. Although, there are questions on whether or not a rule should be made due to the legitimacy of the move and its safety of it. It is quite simply incredible that it even was thought of in the moment and the fact that it even managed to work. But now that sets up a final four of Logano, Elliott, Bell, and Chastain heading into Phoenix, and quite frankly, if it’s anything like we just saw, it should be a great one.

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