Looking for the latest news, photos, and video from Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus, and Team Lowe's Racing? Then put your car in park because you're in the right place. Check back often to see what's new!
Visit Team Lowe's Racing on Facebook and Twitter
Jimmie Johnson put an exclamation point on the STP Gas Booster 500 race weekend Sunday, starting from the pole with a new track record, leading the most laps en route to his eighth career win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and taking the lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship point standings. Johnson, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, is the win leader among active drivers at the .526-mile track and is third on the track’s all-time win list behind Richard Petty (15 wins) and Darrell Waltrip (11 wins).
“It was a long-fought day,” Johnson said. “Martinsville stays the same over the years. You just have to dig in, get into a rhythm, drive your own race and see how things unfold at the end. Fortunately we didn’t have any craziness at the end with two tires or four tires, and I felt like the fastest car won the race, so it was a very standard Martinsville race. Just a hard race. This track is tough to get around, but we have a great notebook, and I have to thank Chad Knaus (crew chief) and all of my guys for all of their dedication and hard work and everybody back home at HMS (Hendrick Motorsports).”
It was a dominant performance for five-time Sprint Cup Series champion Johnson, who never placed lower than fourth in the running order. He led five times for a total of 346 laps, including the final 138 circuits around the track, holding off Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon during the final restart on lap 493.
“I think the last stop we really got our car adjusted right, got some clean air and some track position,” Johnson said. “As the day wore on and we got to the end, the guys were flawless on pit road and I did my job on the racetrack to maintain track position, and we could control the race at that point. Being stuck in an outside lane on a restart would’ve been the death of whoever was out there on a restart, and fortunately we had control of the race late and held off a lot of hard-charging guys.”
The victory was the 62nd of Johnson’s Sprint Cup career and his second of the season. This is the 13th time Johnson has won from the pole in his career and the third time he’s won from the pole at Martinsville.
Bowyer finished .627 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot. Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch took spots three through five, respectively. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin.
There were 12 caution periods for 85 laps, with five drivers failing to finish.
With round six of 36 complete, Johnson leads the Hendrick Motorsports stable in the championship point standings. He is first with 231 points, six ahead of second-place Keselowski. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is third with 219 points, 12 out of first, while Kahne is tied with Greg Biffle for fifth with 199 points, 32 out of first. Jeff Gordon is 12th with 164 points, 67 out of first.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the NRA 500 Saturday, April 13 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.