Race recap: Jimmie Johnson passed Hendrick Motorsports teammate and NASCAR Nextel Cup points leader Jeff Gordon on lap 456 and went on to lead the final 51 laps to win at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. It was Johnson's seventh victory of the ...
Race recap: Jimmie Johnson passed Hendrick Motorsports teammate and NASCAR Nextel Cup points leader Jeff Gordon on lap 456 and went on to lead the final 51 laps to win at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. It was Johnson's seventh victory of the season and the 30th of his 215-race Nextel Cup career. It also was his third straight win at Martinsville.
This race featured 12 lead changes among seven drivers, with Gordon leading the most laps. What dominated, however, was the number of yellow flags that flew over the event. In all, there was a record 21 caution periods for a total of 126 laps, or one-fourth of those run on the day.
After taking the top spot for the final time, Johnson had to survive five restarts following caution flags, holding off challenges from Gordon and eventual second-place finisher Ryan Newman. When it was all said and done, the race ended under the 21st caution flag after rookie David Ragan spun on the final lap.
With his victory, Johnson carved into Gordon's championship points lead by 15. Gordon now holds a 53-point advantage over his teammate with four races remaining in the Chase for the Championship. Clint Bowyer, who finished ninth at Martinsville but lost ground to the top two, is in third place overall (-115 points).
Goodyear quote -- Rick Heinrich: "This was the same combination of Goodyear Eagles we used here at Martinsville in the spring race, and our tires did an outstanding job all weekend once again. This tire package gave teams the confidence to use pit strategy to gain valuable track position, affecting the race in a positive way."
The next race on the schedule is at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Companion event: Mike Skinner led the final 66 laps to capture his fifth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win of the season on Saturday at Martinsville. Skinner pitted just once, on lap 27, and ran the final 173 laps on one set of Goodyear Wranglers. Skinner entered the race 14 points behind Ron Hornaday on the championship standings, but now leads by 11 with four races remaining on the schedule.
-credit: goodyear racing