Johnson Wins at Martinsville, Takes Over Points Lead

Darby Reedy

Darby Reedy, Co-Editor

The smell of the famous Martinsville hotdog, the sound of the roaring engines, and the feel of the cold October air set the backdrop for Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Plagued with numerous single car spins, the race saw eleven cautions throughout the 500 laps. Chase contenders Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick also brought out cautions for a stalled car and an engine issue, respectively. Hamlin ventured to the garage and returned to the track, but Harvick was done for the day.

Starting from the pole, Johnson led eight times for a race high of 193 laps. A caution on lap 490 bunched the field back up, giving the field one last shot at Jimmie Johnson. Tight racing full of bumping and banging characterized the final laps, as Johnson cleared the field on the restart and held off Kyle Busch for the victory. Busch finished second.

The rest of the top five included Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola, and Clint Bowyer. Other notable finishers include sixth place Brad Keselowski, eighth place Brian Vickers, who concluded his eight-race stint with Michael Waltrip Racing this weekend, and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. who came home in 21st place.

With the victory, Johnson takes over the points lead from Keselowski heading into the final stretch of the season.

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