Chevy Driver Jimmie Johnson Picks Up 79th Career Sprint Cup Win at Martinsville
Just a couple of months ago, it looked like it would be a lost season for Chevy driver Jimmie Johnson as he experienced a 15-race stretch in which he only accumulated three top-5 finishes, but you can never underestimate the heart of a champion because Johnson’s win Sunday at Martinsville guaranteed him a shot at his seventh championship in the season finale at Homestead.
Johnson led 92 of 500 laps in Sunday’s race as he was able to hold off Ford’s Brad Keselowski in the final laps to seal the victory. It was Johnson’s fourth win of the 2016 Sprint Cup season and it also marked the ninth checkered flag he’s taken at Martinsville, which tied him with Chevy teammate Jeff Gordon for the most victories ever at the track.
Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford Fusion ended up finishing the race in second and he was followed by Toyota’s Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Busch. Gordon earned his best finish of the season in sixth and it may have been the final Sprint Cup race of his career. Gordon was filling in for injured teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. who is out for the season due to concussion related symptoms.
If Johnson is able to win the championship this season, he’ll tie Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. for the most NASCAR titles ever with seven. Johnson has already passed Earnhardt Sr. on the all-time win’s list and the younger Earnhardt has made it known he is rooting for Johnson in his quest to win a seventh NASCAR championship.
The Sprint Cup Series will be in action again on November 6th when the drivers visit Texas Motor Speedway. The event is scheduled to begin at 2pm and Johnson is the defending race winner.