Johnson dominates at Martinsville; Takes over series points lead

Jimmie Johnson captured his 62nd career Sprint Cup Series victory on Sunday’s in the STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway.  Johnson led 346 laps in route to his eighth win and 20th top-10 finish in 23 races at Martinsville.

“I feel like the fastest car won the race. It was a very standard Martinsville race; although I thought some guys might peel off and take tires. It was just a hard race. This race track is tough to get around.” Johnson said.

Johnson started from the pole and dominated another race at this speedway.  Now only Richard Petty (15) and Darrell Waltrip (11) have more wins.

Clint Bowyer finished second, Jeff Gordon third, Kasey Kahne fourth and Kyle Busch finished fifth.

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“We had a good car all weekend long so it’s incredibly disappointing to be honest to have such a good car.  Second is decent in this sport, but it still sucks.” Bowyer said.

Heading into the final laps it looked like another repeat from last years race with Johnson, Bowyer and Gordon fighting for the race win.  But Johnson got a great restart with eight laps to go and kept enough space between himself and Bowyer.  Gordon was also unable to make a run on Bowyer for second place in the closing laps.

“Well, we just didn’t need those cautions there at the end. I made a mistake on pit road and got us way behind. But, what an incredible effort for this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet team.” Gordon said.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., the points leader heading into Martinsville had some late race contact with Danica Patrick and finished in 25th, 2-laps down.

Patrick, who went two laps down at one part of the race, battled back onto the lead lap and finished a very respectable 12th place.

“We obviously went down real early with that spin and then were two laps down at one point.  So I feel that is one of the things that I am most proud about is coming back from two laps down and being on the last lap.   Then grabbing a 12th place finish in the end was good and I think it was the right call to stay out because I don’t think tires were quite worth enough to pit, so it was a good run today.” Patrick said.

Johnson took over the series points standings by 6 points over Brad Keselowski and 12 over teammate Earnhardt Jr.

“We had a great weekend, probably the most calm, relaxed thought-out we’ve had. We really fell back on our experience and stayed committed to that,” said Johnson, who took over the Sprint Cup points lead with the win. “In the race we had to adjust on the fly. The track changed more than we thought it would. And then the 15 (Clint Bowyer) and the 24 (Gordon) showed up and I had my hands full.”

Unofficial Race Results
STP Gas Booster 500, Martinsville Speedway
http://www.speedwaymedia.com/cup/race.php?race=6
=========================================
Pos. St. No. Driver Make Points
=========================================
1 1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 48
2 15 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 42
3 6 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 41
4 5 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 40
5 11 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 40
6 7 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 38
7 13 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 37
8 2 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 37
9 22 16 Greg Biffle Ford 35
10 35 11 Mark Martin Toyota 34
11 3 55 Brian Vickers(i) Toyota 0
12 32 10 Danica Patrick # Chevrolet 32
13 21 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 31
14 8 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 31
15 9 99 Carl Edwards Ford 29
16 41 13 Casey Mears Ford 28
17 26 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 27
18 29 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 26
19 16 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 25
20 34 43 Aric Almirola Ford 24
21 31 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 23
22 18 51 Regan Smith(i) Chevrolet 0
23 4 22 Joey Logano Ford 21
24 17 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 20
25 20 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. # Ford 19
26 14 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 18
27 37 36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 17
28 30 38 David Gilliland Ford 16
29 39 7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 15
30 23 34 David Ragan Ford 14
31 10 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 13
32 36 32 Ken Schrader Ford 12
33 33 33 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 11
34 43 87 Joe Nemechek(i) Toyota 0
35 42 35 Josh Wise(i) Ford 0
36 24 30 David Stremme Toyota 8
37 19 78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 7
38 40 83 David Reutimann Toyota 6
39 25 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 6
40 12 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 4
41 28 95 Scott Speed Ford 3
42 38 44 Scott Riggs Ford 2
43 27 98 Michael McDowell Ford 1

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