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Martin Truex Jr. cruises to first win of season at Martinsville Speedway

June 10 (UPI) -- Martin Truex Jr. led the final 131 laps of the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 on Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway to earn his first win of the season.

Truex's Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota led 132 of the 500 laps. His second consecutive victory at the Virginia racetrack was the 27th Cup Series win of his career, and his first with new crew chief James Small.

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Truex, the 2017 Cup Series champion, has been one of the biggest winners in NASCAR over the last three years, but he failed to find victory lane over the first 10 races of this season.

"I knew we were going to get one soon," Truex said. "Hopefully, we can get on a roll. ... Congrats to James on his first win. He's doing an awesome job and I'm really proud of him. It's a big day for us."

Ryan Blaney rebounded from a pit-road penalty in the final stage and finished second, just ahead of Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski in third and Joey Logano in fourth. Logano led a race-high 234 laps before slipping behind Truex, Blaney and Keselowski.

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Chase Elliott, who won the Alsco Uniforms 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway nearly two weeks ago, came in fifth. Alex Bowman (sixth), Matt DiBenedetto (seventh), William Byron (eighth), Kurt Busch (ninth) and Jimmie Johnson (10th) rounded out the top 10.

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Bubba Wallace, who drove the No. 43 car with a "Black Lives Matter" theme for Richard Petty Motorsports, earned his career-best NASCAR Cup Series finish at Martinsville, ending up in 11th.

On Monday, the 26-year-old Alabama native -- who is the only active black driver in the Cup Series -- demanded that NASCAR ban Confederate flags from all events. Before Wednesday night's race, the stock car series honored his wishes and announced it was prohibiting Confederate flags at all events and properties.

The NASCAR Cup Series' next race is the Dixie Vodka 400. The event is scheduled for Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida and will take place without any fans in attendance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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