L&T Motorsport

JOHNSON WINS TO CLOSE IN ON HISTORIC 7TH CHAMPIONSHIP

When Jimmie Johnson stopped on the racetrack under caution, apparently out of fuel, it appeared as though his championship hopes were going to take a huge blow. However, Johnson found a switch for a reserve tank, used the caution (which came out during green flag pit stops) to gain track position, and won the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 to close in on a historic 7th title, which would bring him level with legends Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty.

Johnson led much of the final stint of the race, 92 laps in total, to pick up the 79th win of his career and his 9th at Martinsville. Behind him, Brad Keselowski made a late bid to win, coming through the field to finish 2nd. The Joe Gibbs Racing teammates of Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch battled each other for the entire race, Kenseth leading for well over 150 laps, before finishing 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.

The other JGR car of Carl Edwards suffered a huge blow to his title hopes when he hit the wall on lap 357 after blowing a right front tire, eventually finishing down in 36th.

The final caution of the day caused a lot of confusion in terms of the running order, and left just 10 cars on the lead lap for the rest of the race. Jeff Gordon finished an excellent 6th, in what could be the final race of his illustrious career. Martin Truex Jr led 147 laps, but faded as the race went on, eventually coming home 7th.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jamie McMurray, with a strong run for Chip Ganassi Racing in 8th, Joey Logano with a solid if unspectacular day for his Chase hopes in 9th, whilst AJ Allmendinger was 10th.

Two other Chase drivers to struggle this weekend were the Stewart-Haas Racing pair of Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. Both had very little speed throughout the day, and ended up with mediocre finishes of 20th and 22nd. This means that both are in the dropout zone heading into the 2nd race of the Elimination Round in Texas.

@JR24GP
Image – NASCAR.com

Top 10 Results Chase Standings
1.       Jimmie Johnson

2.       Brad Keselowski

3.       Denny Hamlin

4.       Matt Kenseth

5.       Kyle Busch

6.       Jeff Gordon

7.       Martin Truex Jr

8.       Jamie McMurray

9.       Joey Logano

10.     AJ Allmendinger

Jimmie Johnson – Qualified

Denny Hamlin +6

Matt Kenseth +6

Kyle Busch +4

Joey Logano -4

Kevin Harvick -16

Kurt Busch -18

Carl Edwards -32

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