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Johnson gets eighth win at Martinsville

Published April 8, 2013 12:11 am

NASCAR • Five-time series champ takes over points lead.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Martinsville, Va. • Jimmie Johnson dominated Martinsville Speedway again.

Johnson led a career-best 346 laps Sunday and pulled away on a restart with eight laps to go for his eighth career victory at Martinsville Speedway.

"It was just a long, fought day," Johnson said after climbing from his car in Victory Lane. "Martinsville, it stays the same over the years, and you just have to dig in and get your own rhythm. Fortunately, the fastest car won the race."

The victory moved Johnson into third place in career victories on the shortest track in the Sprint Cup Series, trailing only Richard Petty, who won here 15 times, and Darrell Waltrip, who won 11 times.

It also made team owner Rich Hendrick's organization the winningest team in Martinsville history with 20, breaking a tie it had with the Petty organization.

"I think the last stop or two, we really got our car adjusted right," Johnson said.

The five-time series champion picked the inside line for the final restart with Clint Bowyer on the outside, teammate Jeff Gordon behind him and Kyle Busch to his outside, and Johnson got a clean break for the lead into Turn 1.

Bowyer slid into second and Busch, who tried to make a move on the outside line, instead got hung up out there as Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne, who restarted fifth, went underneath to take fourth.

Nothing changed the rest of the way, and the top five finished in those positions.

Danica Patrick finished 12th. —

Standings

Pts. Beh.

1. Johnson 231 —

2. Keselowski 225 -6

3. Earnhardt 219 -12

4. Kyle Busch 203 -28

5. Kahne 199 -32

6. Biffle 199 -32

7. Edwards 193 -38

8. Bowyer 179 -52

9. Menard 179 -52

10. Kenseth 172 -59

11. Logano 167 -64

12. Gordon 164 -67