[media-credit name=”martinsvillespeedway.com” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 1, 2012) – Ryan Newman took advantage of a crash-filled restart to capture the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday afternoon.
A.J. Allmendinger finished second, his best career Sprint Cup finish, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third. Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.
Jeff Gordon dominated the race, leading 328 laps, and it looked like he and Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson were going to battle for the win when a caution came out on lap 498.
On the restart, Clint Bowyer dove to the inside of Gordon and Johnson and all three spun up the track. Newman slipped through untouched for the lead and was able to hold off Allmendinger and Earnhardt on the final restart for the win.
“Well, the first green-white-checkered, I told the guys on the radio, I said, ‘Listen, good job today. I’m not sure if I can bring it back,’ and that’s when the whole deal happened in Turn 1,” said Newman.
“Clint went to the inside and that was his prerogative, man,” said Earnhardt Jr. “He was going for the win and I thought it was a good move. Just not enough room for all three of them down there in that corner and everybody got together.”
The final caution came out on lap 505, and forced a green, white, checkered finish. With caution laps, the race was extended to 515 laps, the longest race in Martinsville Speedway’s history.
It was Newman’s first career win at Martinsville Speedway and his third top-10 finish of the 2012 season. It was his 16th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action returns to Martinsville Speedway on October 28 with the TUMS Fast Relief 500. Tickets are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX.