Pit lane fight between Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer after the Martinsville race

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Brandon Jones passed Ty Gibbs on the final lap of a two-lap sprint to the finish to win Friday night at Martinsville Speedway for his fifth career win and one that sparked a pit lane brawl when it was over.

At the final restart, which followed a series of cautions, Gibbs chose to start on the inside lane and had to pass Jones, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, also on the inside lane while finishing second. Jones boarded him multiple times and eventually snagged the top seat while Gibbs got caught in a mess.

“What a day,” Jones said after getting out of his car. “I can’t say we could have played it better. … I ended up with older tires than all these guys.”

When it was over, a brawl broke out in the pit lane between Gibbs and his longtime rival Sam Mayer, both of whom were racing for a $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus. Gibbs wore his helmet while Mayer didn’t, and when Mayer pushed him, Gibbs struck and they came together in a hand-to-hand combat as others tried to break him up.

“I tried to talk to him and he jumped in my face and that’s where we have to start fighting,” Gibbs said. “We’re in a bad position. The only thing I’m angry about is that (Mayer) didn’t have anything. He didn’t want to get past (third place AJ Allmendinger) and I just got hit on the back left.”

Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer
Drivers Ty Gibbs, left, and Sam Mayer, right.
Getty Images

But Gibbs conceded that a week ago at Richmond Raceway he had to apologize to teammate John Hunter Nemechek for nudging him on the final lap to take the win, his best third in the series in seven Run.

Instead of a fourth win on Friday evening, he finished eighth.

Mayer admitted his focus on winning the $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus once he was pushed up the track and was no longer able to fight for the win.

“I had my sights set on the $100,000 and wanted to do what I had to do to try and get it. Yes, I gave him the bumper,” he said, describing the move as “a clean push and run.” He said Gibbs, who was also eligible for the bonus, was “just nuts” but they talked afterwards and “we’re going to be fine”.

Prior to the wild finish, Gibbs had escaped unscathed every time the last few of 16 yellow flags flew as cars spun around behind him. Much of the field then crashed on the first attempt at a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish when Mayer, who was second, made Noah Gragson, who was third, spin, resulting in a major pile-up even before the field got the first curve reached .

That was the last warning on the cold night and brought out a red flag that lasted almost 20 minutes and set the stage for the drama at the finish.

Landon Cassill came out of nowhere to finish second, the first of four Chevrolets behind Jones’ Toyota, while Allmendinger finished third – and claimed the $100,000 bonus – followed by Austin Hill and Mayer.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who made his first career start on the .526 mile oval on his annual foray into the series, started from the bottom, never competed and finished 11th.

It was also a difficult end for championship leader Gragson, who ran up front for most of the night but was relegated to 20th place after Mayer knocked him out. Pit lane fight between Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer after the Martinsville race


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