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article imageNASCAR: Johnson dominates for second win in six races

By John Duarte     Apr 8, 2013 in Sports
Ridgeway - Jimmie Johnson started from the pole position and stayed out in front of the field for most of the afternoon on his way to winning the STP Gas Booster 500 on Sunday afternoon in Virginia.
Johnson led 346 of 500 laps and was rarely challenged as he raced for his second win of the season. Johnson won the opening race of the 2013 Sprint Cup season, the Daytona 500. Clint Bowyer finished second in the STP Gas Booster 500 and Jeff Gordon was third.
“Probably the most calm, relaxed, thought-out weekend that we’ve had,” Johnson reflected after the race. “We really fell back on our experience and stayed committed to that.”
If the race was ever in jeopardy for Johnson, it could have been on Lap 487 when NASCAR officials brought out the red flag to stop the race after Kurt Busch’s car hit the wall and rolled along the fence with flames spewing from under the hood.
“I had a real nice comfortable lead at that point and didn’t want to see a caution (flag) at all and give those guys another chance at me,” said Johnson. “I’ve given away a few races over the years and I’ve learned to adapt.”
And so he did. On the restart, Johnson eased away from Bowyer as the laps counted down.
“I felt like if I could get two or three corners and maintain the lead on Clint (Bowyer) that I could stretch it back out,” he said. As the checkered flag waved, Johnson crossed the finish line a little over half a second ahead of his rival.
Although ever gracious in defeat, Bowyer couldn’t hide his disappointment. “Obviously second is decent (in racing), but it still sucks right now.”
Winning for the eighth time in his career at Martinsville Speedway, Johnson climbs two spots to take over as leader of the Sprint Cup Series. Brad Keselowski remains second and sits six points from the top spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. drops two places into third overall.
The first night race of the 2013 Sprint Cup season goes Saturday, April 13. The NRA 500 will run at Texas Motor Speedway, in Fort Worth.
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