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Johnson takes over Chase points lead with Martinsville win

9:16 PM, Oct 28, 2012   |    comments
Jimmie Johnson/file
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Martinsville, VA (Sports Network) - Jimmie Johnson grabbed a two-point lead over Brad Keselowski in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship by winning Sunday's Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Johnson, who started on the pole, took the lead from Keselowski with 14 laps remaining. The five-time Sprint Cup Series champion then held off Kyle Busch after the final restart with five laps to go, beating Busch to the finish line by 0.5 seconds.

Johnson earned his fourth win of the season. It was also his record-extending 21st Chase race victory but his first since Oct. 9, 2011 at Kansas.

Johnson held the lead late in the race but pitted for two new left-side tires with less than 25 laps left. Keselowski opted to stay on the track. Johnson ran third for the restart but quickly chased down Keselowski before making his winning pass. Keselowski, with older tires, faded in the closing laps to finish sixth. He started 32nd.

Kasey Kahne finished third, while Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five.

Just three races remain -- Texas (Nov. 4), Phoenix (Nov. 11) and Homestead (Nov. 18).

 

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