Ryan Newman stole a victory at Martinsville after a late crash took out Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, who between them, had led 497 laps on the day. It marked Newman’s first victory at Martinsville in 21 career starts.
It was a heartbreaking afternoon for Jeff Gordon, who was hoping to get his first win of the season on the track where he leads all active drivers in wins. Gordon led 328 laps, but after a restart that had sent the race into overtime, Clint Bowyer took out both Gordon and Jimmie Johnson denying Gordon the win and Hendrick Motorsports its 200th career victory.
This is only the 2nd time in Gordon’s career that he’s led more than 300 laps and failed to get the win.
After the race Gordon, who ended up 14th, said spoke with Bowyer ater the race and cleared the air.
“Clint and I are friends and I have a lot of respect for him, he’s a great race car driver. But I’m glad I talked to him before I talked to you guys because I was pretty mad at him. He said he got hit from behind by the 39 and I heard that from team as well.
I didn’t get the best restart, so when he showed his nose down there I thought ok, we’ll make it work. But he came through there with so much speed that he had no where to go, I had no where to go and Jimmie had no where to go and it was just pretty unfortunate."