Monday, April 08, 2013

Johnson Dominant In Martinsville Win

Jimmie Johnson pitched a perfect game at Martinsville Speedway Sunday, started on the pole after a track-record qualifying run, then leading 346 of 500 laps en route to a dominant win in the STP Gas Booster 500. The win was Johnson’s 62nd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory and his eighth at Martinsville, becoming the track’s winningest active driver. Clint Bowyer overcame an early crash that damaged the right-front corner of his Toyota heavily to finish second, while Jeff Gordon bounced back from overshooting his pit stall at mid-race to finish third, followed by Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch. Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin completed the Top-10, with Martin subbing for the injured Denny Hamlin.

“We had a great weekend’ probably the most calm, relaxed, thought-out weekend we’ve had,” said Johnson after the win. “We really fell back on our experience and stayed committed to that. We had to adjust on the fly (since) the track changed more than we thought it would. And then the 15 and the 24 showed up and I had my hands full.”
Johnson’s eighth Martinsville wins now ranks him third on the all-time list behind Richard Petty (15) and Darrell Waltrip (11). With their 20th Martinsville win, Hendrick Motorsports broke a tie with Petty Enterprises for the most all-time Martinsville victories.
Despite finishing second in a badly wrinkled car, Bowyer said he let an opportunity slip away. “We had a good car all weekend long, so it’s incredibly disappointing,” he said. “Second is decent in this sport, but it still sucks.”
Johnson now assumes the Sprint Cup Series point lead by six over Keselowski. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. slipped to third in points with a 24th place finish; his first finish outside the Top-10 in six starts.
Unofficial Rundown
Finish # Driver

1          48 Jimmie Johnson
2          15 Clint Bowyer
3          24 Jeff Gordon
4          5 Kasey Kahne
5          18 Kyle Busch
6          2 Brad Keselowski
7          1 Jamie McMurray
8          9 Marcos Ambrose
9          16 Greg Biffle
10         11 Mark Martin
11         55 Brian Vickers
12         10 Danica Patrick #
13         29 Kevin Harvick
14         20 Matt Kenseth
15         99 Carl Edwards
16         13 Casey Mears
17         14 Tony Stewart
18         31 Jeff Burton
19         27 Paul Menard
20         43 Aric Almirola
21         47 Bobby Labonte
22         51 Regan Smith
23        22 Joey Logano
24         88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
25         17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #
26         42 Juan Pablo Montoya
27         36 J.J. Yeley
28         38 David Gilliland
29         7 Dave Blaney
30         34 David Ragan
31         39 Ryan Newman
32         32 Ken Schrader
33         33 Landon Cassill
34         87 Joe Nemechek
35         35 Josh Wise
36         30 David Stremme
37         78 Kurt Busch
38         83 David Reutimann
39         93 Travis Kvapil
40         56 Martin Truex Jr.
41         95 Scott Speed
42         44 Scott Riggs
43         98 Michael McDowell

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