Jeff Gordon & Jimmie Johnson Wreck on restart at Martinsville Speedway April 1, 2012
Ryan Newman spoiled an afternoon of Hendrick hegemony with an opportunistic victory in the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. After Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson dominated the action for 497 laps, an untimely caution flag flew on Lap 497 and sent the race to overtime, after David Reutimann stalled on the frontstretch. Gordon and Johnson stayed out on old tires as the lead-lap cars behind them came to the pits for tires and fuel. On the restart on lap 504, Clint Bowyer took Johnson and Gordon three-wide into the first corner, and all three cars spun, ruining a potential 200th victory party for Hendrick Motorsports. After the dust settled, Newman cleared runner-up AJ Allmendinger on the second lap of a green-white-checkered-flag restart and held on to win by .342 seconds. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. The victory was Newman's first of the season, his first at Martinsville and the 16th of his career. It was the third win of the year in six events for Stewart-Haas Racing. Gordon had led 322 laps before Johnson passed him for the top spot on Lap 356. That brought Johnson all the way back from a pit road speeding penalty incurred on Lap 100 under the first caution of the race. Johnson was flagged for speeding on exit and restarted at the tail end of the field. But with 80 percent of the race ahead of him, the five-time champion had plenty of time to work his way back to the front of the field. Denny Hamlin <b>...</b>
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