Gordon Reclaims Martinsville Glory

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

A season full of ups and downs was at its highest Sunday afternoon for Jeff Gordon. It had been an eight year dry spell for Gordon at Martinsville. He once dominated this track, but as of late, success has not been present for the four time champion. That all changed with this win, however. Gordon took his first victory of 2013 to keep the championship in sight. Gordon made it to victory lane by keeping his nose out of trouble throughout the day. Many drivers are unable to say that as lots of beating and banging went down on the Virginia short-track throughout the day.

The top three title contenders coming into the day of Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Busch exchanged the lead numerous times in the early going. Johnson looked as he would be able to dominant the race as he has done in the past at Martinsville, but his Martinsville magic wasn’t there.

Cautions filled the air for much of the race as cars seemed to run into each other in every corner. One of the bigger incidents of the day occurred on lap 182 when a stack-up going into turn 1 led to lots of torn up sheet metal. Drivers drove into the back of each other as cars slowed ahead of them. Kasey Kahne ended up over the curb as his day took a hard left turn for the worse. At least six cars were involved as only minimal damage was suffered.

Clint Bowyer was another prominent face at the front throughout the day. He made his way to the lead for the first time on lap 238. Eventual race-winner Jeff Gordon was the guy to take Bowyer out of the top spot when the lead exchanged hands on lap 282.

A plethora of yellow flags came out between laps 284 and 337. A total of six showed just how tricky the laps following the restarts can be at the paperclip. Two Chasers were involved in one caution on lap 318 when Kevin Harvick got into the back of Ryan Newman heading off into turn 1. Newman spun up the track into the wall as his Chase keeps getting torn apart.

Matt Kenseth held the lead for a majority of the final portion of the race. With 127 laps to go, he took the top spot and wouldn’t give it up until a latter battle with Gordon.

A total of 17 cautions came out throughout the race. The seventeenth and final flew with 86 laps to go.

Gordon chased Kenseth down for a majority of the final 50 laps. He eventually got to his bumper in lapped traffic and made the race winning pass with 21 laps to go. Surprisingly, the race stayed green to the end and Gordon was able to score victory at one of his glory day tracks.

This win will keep Gordon’s title shots alive, but they remain slim as Johnson and Kenseth avoided trouble for the seventh straight week. Kenseth and Johnson are now tied atop the standings as the final three races approach. A clean slate is now present as it will be whoever can perform better over the next three weeks that takes home the trophy.

Results via ESPN.com

POS DRIVER MANUFACTURER

LAPS

MONEY

START

LED

PTS

BONUS

PENALTY

1 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet

500

 

9

78

47

4

0

2 Matt Kenseth Toyota

500

 

4

202

44

2

0

3 Clint Bowyer Toyota

500

 

5

60

42

1

0

4 Brad Keselowski Ford

500

 

11

0

40

0

0

5 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet

500

 

2

123

40

1

0

6 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet

500

 

10

0

38

0

0

7 Denny Hamlin Toyota

500

 

1

14

38

1

0

8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet

500

 

12

0

36

0

0

9 Greg Biffle Ford

500

 

33

0

35

0

0

10 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet

500

 

7

0

34

0

0

11 Jeff Burton Chevrolet

500

 

22

5

34

1

0

12 Carl Edwards Ford

500

 

14

0

32

0

0

13 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet

500

 

13

0

31

0

0

14 Joey Logano Ford

500

 

6

0

30

0

0

15 Kyle Busch Toyota

500

 

3

12

30

1

0

16 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota

500

 

15

0

28

0

0

17 Danica Patrick Chevrolet

499

 

41

0

27

0

0

18 Kurt Busch Chevrolet

499

 

19

0

26

0

0

19 Marcos Ambrose Ford

499

 

16

0

25

0

0

20 Aric Almirola Ford

499

 

18

0

24

0

0

21 Casey Mears Ford

499

 

28

0

23

0

0

22 Paul Menard Chevrolet

499

 

23

0

22

0

0

23 David Gilliland Ford

499

 

27

0

21

0

0

24 Travis Kvapil Toyota

499

 

32

0

20

0

0

25 Elliott Sadler Toyota

499

 

35

6

0

0

0

26 Michael McDowell Ford

498

 

36

0

18

0

0

27 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet

497

 

25

0

17

0

0

28 Ken Schrader Ford

496

 

38

0

16

0

0

29 Landon Cassill Chevrolet

495

 

24

0

0

0

0

30 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet

495

 

37

0

14

0

0

31 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford

495

 

20

0

13

0

0

32 Bobby Labonte Toyota

494

 

34

0

12

0

0

33 Joe Nemechek Toyota

493

 

40

0

0

0

0

34 Josh Wise Ford

490

 

31

0

0

0

0

35 Cole Whitt Toyota

459

 

30

0

0

0

0

36 Mark Martin Chevrolet

455

 

21

0

8

0

0

37 David Reutimann Toyota

451

 

43

0

7

0

0

38 Ryan Newman Chevrolet

432

 

17

0

6

0

0

39 Dave Blaney Chevrolet

357

 

29

0

5

0

0

40 Reed Sorenson Ford

275

 

42

0

0

0

0

41 Tony Raines Chevrolet

220

 

39

0

0

0

0

42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet

160

 

26

0

0

0

0

43 David Ragan \ Ford

109

 

8

0

1

0

0

 

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