Shelbyville Daily Union

Local News

April 12, 2013

Clock strikes eight for Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson was dominate this past weekend in Martinsville, VA. Johnson capture his eighth win and eighth Grandfather Clock by winning at NASCARs oldest track.

There had been five winners in five races so far this season, but Johnson became the first repeat winner leading 346 of the 500 laps.

From the moment, Johnson unloaded his car and pulled on the track, the other drivers knew they were going to be chasing Johnson. Johnson won the pole starting spot with a record qualifying lap of 98.400 MPH. This allowed him the coveted first pit stall, which can be so important to a good Martinsville finish.

On long runs, Johnson’s car actually faded a bit, and Jeff Gordon, who was also trying for his eighth victory on the track, was actually faster than him.

While Johnson led most of the day, there was a time around lap mid-race that Matt Kenseth took the lead and Johnson started to fade. Kyle Busch also lead for a few laps. However at lap 363, Johnson took over the lead and would never give it up.

Gordon was closing on Johnson, and it looked like we would see another classic Johnson, Gordon battle to the checkers, but Kurt Busch crashed with just 13 laps left, the 12th caution of the day.

On the restart, Johnson chose the inside lane, with Clint Bowyer on the outside and Gordon behind him, next to Kyle Busch. Johnson sped away as the green flag dropped, with Bowyer sliding down to the inside. Kyle Busch tried to make something happen by going to the high side, but he would get shuffled back to fifth behind Gordon and Kasey Kahne. The order would remain the same with Johnson winning his 62nd race in his career and taking over the lead in the points standings.

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