Martinsville magic for some, mayhem for others in NASCAR’s Chase

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, and Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 MyClassicGarage.com Toyota, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 28, 2012 in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

When the sun set over Martinsville Speedway Sunday night the Chase picture looked different, but yet the same. Johnson took over the points lead, Brad Keselowski made an amazing, almost magical run to stay in contention and Clint Bowyer continued to impress with a strong run that now has him well within range to win the title this season.

Jimmie Johnson was not going to be denied his seventh career win at Martinsville.  He made a strong statement Friday by winning the pole and even stronger statement Sunday by leading the race high 193 laps en-route to his 59th career win. Johnson is back on top of the Chase and leads by a slim two points. It’s far from over, but Johnson is officially the one to beat.

“I’m ecstatic about the win today and ecstatic about the point lead, but this is no cake-walk,” Johnson said. “These guys are bringing their best each and every week and we’ve got to keep working hard to keep this Lowe’s Chevy up front; and we’re in good shape.” MORE>>>

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