Posted: Apr 7, 2013 5:15 PM by CBS Sports
MARTINSVILLE, VA - Jimmie Johnson pulled away on a late-race restart to continue his Martinsville Speedway mastery Sunday afternoon, prevailing in the STP Gas Booster 500 for his second victory of the season.
The victory was Johnson's eighth at the .526-mile track and 62nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He led 347 of 500 laps and regained the lead in the series standings from teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was 24th, two laps down.
Clint Bowyer, who foiled Johnson's bid for victory in this race last year, finished second, .628 seconds behind the pole-starter. Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne, Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammates, were third and fourth, respectively, with Kyle Busch fifth.
A chain-reaction crash, the race's biggest, involving 10 cars slowed the action in the 180th lap. A handful of cars jammed up on a restart following the race's third caution period; by the time it was done and the yellow flag flew, all three Michael Waltrip cars suffered damage ranging from light (Clint Bowyer) to moderate (Brian Vickers) to severe (Martin Truex Jr.).
Mark Martin, driving for the injured Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing entry, finished 10th.
Rookie Danica Patrick, making her first Martinsville start, brought out the race's first caution, looping her No. 10 Chevrolet while trying to pass veteran Ken Schrader. Shortly after the yellow flag flew, someone keyed Schrader's radio: "That'll learn her."
Patrick rallied from losing a lap and meticulously picked her way through the chaos to finish 12th, on the lead lap.