Victory Lap: Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson wins at Martinsville

Not one, not two, not three...alright you get the picture. Jimmie Johnson added to his lengthy Martinsville resume in capturing his ninth grandfather clock at the Goody's Fast Relief 500 on Sunday. "This is the right time to start winning races,” said Johnson, who last won at Martinsville in 2013. "It isn’t going to come easy and we knew that coming into this race and there’s so many challenges at this race track." Now that his ticket is punched to Homestead, "Six-Time" is ready to embrace the challenge of racing for a seventh NASCAR Cup Championship. "I’ve been trying to ignore this conversation about seven, and now I can’t. We’re locked in.”

Carl Edwards championship hopes took a hit

The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas dominated much of the action in Martinsville. The trio of Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch led a combined 227 of the race's 500 laps, and that number climbs to 374 if you include the performance of alliance member Martin Truex Jr. But it wasn't all sunshine and roses for the Short Track Squad. After running in the top-10 most of the afternoon, reigning TOYOTA OWNERS 400 champion Carl Edwards suffered a blown tire that put the No. 19 right into the Turn 1 wall. The wreck sent Edwards and the No.19 behind the wall for 24 laps, resulting in a 36th place finish for the Chase contendor. He'll need to put in some serious work at Texas and Phoenix if he wants to keep his championship hopes alive.

Elliott Sadler has his eyes on a championship.
After a two-week break, the NASCAR XFINITY Series will pick back up this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Two races remain before the series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Virginia's own Elliott Sadler is tied with NASCAR Next alumni Daniel Suarez for the Series lead. Blake Koch and Justin Allgaier round out the top four, but Erik Jones and Ryan Reed are in sitting within two points of Allgaier at P4.

Ready. Set. Chase.

The sun has set on Martinsville, and as the Chase field veers out west for a pair of desert showdowns in Texas and Phoenix a gap has already formed among the eight remaining Chase drivers. A pair of poor showings from the Stewart Haas duo and tire problems for Edwards have all three sitting more than 16 points behind Kyle Busch in P4. But Edwards has three career wins in the Lonestar state, and Harvick can look forward to Phoenix, where the 2014 Champion has won six of the last eight contests. Someone's going to make some noise over the next couple of weeks - be sure to tune in and find out who. 


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