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Martinsville NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson claims eighth win at track

Jimmie Johnson wins at MartinsvilleJimmie Johnson kept his nose clean in a fractious race to claim his eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup win at Martinsville.

Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsport team-mates Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne spent the whole race battling with the Joe Gibbs cars of Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth, but in the end it was Johnson who took the chequer for the 62nd time in his career.

Clint Bowyer brought his battle-scarred Toyota home second after a strong finish, just ahead of Gordon.

Kahne was fourth, while Busch crossed the line side-by-side with reigning champion Brad Keselowski, with Busch fractionally ahead.

Two potential winners were hobbled when a yellow quickly followed a restart caught many of the drivers by surprise.

In the confusion, Bowyer rear-ended Jamie McMurray and was rammed by Michael Waltrip Racing team-mate Martin Truex Jr, causing substantial damage to Truex's car. Joey Logano also got involved, bashing up the nose of his Penske Ford in the process.

The caution was caused by Dale Earnhardt Jr making a slow getaway. This caused Brian Vickers to tip Marcos Ambrose into a half-spin.

As the Australian fought for control he tagged Mark Martin (standing in for the injured Denny Hamlin in the #11 Gibbs Toyota). Vickers sustained the most damage, but continued to run in the top 10 until a late left-rear puncture caused him to spin off the lead lap.

Martin's first stand-in race for Joe Gibbs was hardly star-studded. There were numerous clashes on track and an incident in pitroad when he left before the left-front wheel was attached. Despite all this, he managed to finish 10th.

Danica Patrick also had an eventful race. She started on the final row following an engine change penalty, but worked her way into the top 20.

On multiple occasions she dropped off the lead lap, but fought her way back. She caused the race's opening caution - spinning after a nudge from Ken Schrader, and a late-race caution when Vickers tapped her into Earnhardt - but drove well to take 12th.

The race was briefly stopped late on after Kurt Busch's Furniture Row Chevrolet burst into flames as it hit the wall when his brakes failed.

The former champion had the presence of mind to hit the extinguisher button before he clambered out, but with so much clear-up work needed, racing was suspended.

Results - 500 laps:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                    Time/Gap
 1.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevy          3h38m58.000s
 2.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota              + 0.628s
 3.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevy              + 0.909s
 4.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevy              + 1.512s
 5.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota            + 2.182s
 6.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                 + 2.189s
 7.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevy     + 3.057s
 8.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                  + 3.541s
 9.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford           + 3.941s
10.  Mark Martin         Joe Gibbs Toyota            + 4.193s
11.  Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota              + 5.147s
12.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevy          + 5.156s
13.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevy             + 5.197s
14.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota            + 5.392s
15.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford           + 5.643s
16.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                + 5.819s
17.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevy          + 6.150s
18.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevy             + 6.503s
19.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevy             + 6.926s
20.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                  + 7.917s
21.  Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota        + 8.317s
22.  Regan Smith         Phoenix Chevy              + 20.449s
23.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                  + 1 lap
24.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevy              + 2 laps
25.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford           + 2 laps
26.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevy     + 3 laps
27.  JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevy               + 3 laps
28.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford              + 4 laps
29.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevy               + 5 laps
30.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford              + 7 laps
31.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevy          + 8 laps
32.  Ken Schrader        FAS Lane Ford               + 8 laps
33.  Landon Cassill      Circle Sport Chevy          + 8 laps
34.  Joe Nemechek        NEMCO-JRR Toyota            + 9 laps
35.  Josh Wise           Front Row Ford             + 12 laps
36.  David Stremme       Swan Toyota                + 15 laps
37.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevy       + 43 laps*
38.  David Reutimann     BK Toyota                  + 43 laps
39.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                  + 64 laps
40.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota            + 114 laps

* Not running at finish


     Scott Speed         Leavine Ford                 64 laps
     Scott Riggs         Xxxtreme Ford                47 laps
     Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                 26 laps
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Johnson takes record Martinsville pole