There had been no repeat winners in the first seven NASCAR Cup Series races of 2021, which is a streak that Martin Truex Jr. ended Sunday with his win in the Blue Emu Maximum Relief 500 at Martinsville.
Truex passed Denny Hamlin for the lead with 16 laps to go to earn his second win of 2021 after eight races so far. Truex led only 20 of 500 laps, in contrast to Hamlin who led 276 laps and finished third after Chase Elliott passed him with four laps to go.
Truex’s win ends a streak of seven different winners in the first seven races, which was the most since 2014 when the streak happened then.
2021 is also Truex’s fifth multi-win season and his first since 2019. Truex’s first multi-win season was 2016, which was the first of four consecutive multi-win seasons.
Truex’s win in the Blue Emu 500 is also his 29th career Cup victory, which pads his 28th place position on the all-time Cup wins list. Truex is one win ahead of Carl Edwards (28) and three wins behind Dale Jarrett (32).
Truex has now won three of the last four Martinsville races and has won two of the last three races at Richmond, which is where the NASCAR Cup Series will race at next on April 18 (2:30 p.m. ET; TV: FOX, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Truex sits second in the NASCAR Cup Series points standings, 76 points behind points leader Denny Hamlin heading into Richmond.