Photos courtesy of NASCARmedia.com
Jimmie started the day telling reporters that the Tums Fast Relief 500 would be a “maximum points day” for the five-time Sprint Cup Champion. Jimmie started the race from the pole position indicating that he was doing everything he could to deliver on that statement.
Jimmie held on to lead the first lap of the race and gain that all important bonus point. Jimmie was one of nine different drivers to lead a lap in the Tums Fast Relief 500. Those nine drivers exchanged the lead a total of 22 times. Some of those lead changes took place on the track racing while other lead changes were a result of cautions and pit stops. The short track race at Martinsville saw 11 caution periods throughout the afternoon.
Jimmie again delivered on his statement of getting maximum points in the race by leading the most laps at Martinsville with 193 laps spent at the front of the field and gaining another important bonus point. Heading into the Tums Fast Relief 500, Jimmie trailed NASCAR Sprint Cup point leader Brad Keselowski by seven points. In the end it was Jimmie completely delivering on his statement by capturing his seventh checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway, fourth of the 2012 NASCAR season and first of the ten-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. That adds up to Jimmie getting the maximum points he could in his attempt to win his sixth championship.
Brad Keselowski started the race from the 32 position in the field of race cars. Brad did all he could to get to the front for a chance to win or at least minimize the points he could lose to Jimmie and the other drivers behind him in the point standings. Brad did manage to finish the day in sixth place, a great performance for a driver starting so far back in the field. However, it wasn’t enough to keep him in the lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings. Kyle Busch finished in second with Kasey Kahne third, Aric Almirola fourth and Clint Bowyer in fifth place. See the complete Tums Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race results here.
With the win (and maximum points for the day), Jimmie Johnson took over the point lead. Brad is now two points behind Jimmie in second place. Denny Hamlin moves up two spots to third in the points. Kasey Kahne moved up spot to fourth place while Clint Bowyer fell two spots to round out the top five. You can see the complete NASCAR points standings here.
With just three races left in the Chase to the Sprint Cup, NASCAR heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500 Sunday afternoon, November 4th.
By: Buck Stevens
Main page feature image photo credit: NASCARmedia.com/John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR