Jimmie Johnson held off Kyle Busch on a restart with five laps to go Sunday and won for the seventh time in his career at Martinsville Speedway.
The five-time series champion moved into the lead in the championship standings, two points over Brad Keselowski with three races remaining.
Keselowski started 32nd, methodically worked his way forward, and took a late gamble to grab the lead on a restart with 19 laps to go. When Johnson and the rest of the leaders pitted for tires, Keselowski was a sitting duck once the race went back to green.
Johnson made the race a points bonanza, leading the most laps and earning three points for the victory.
Busch was second, followed by Kasey Kahne.
Bowyer with his fifth place finish at Martinsville both gained and lost in the points standings. He moves up on spot in the standings to third, but he loses a point on new leader Jimmie Johnson, Bowyer is now 26 points behind the lead.
"It was a good day for us," said Bowyer. "Man, I thought we had a car capable of winning. As soon as it got cool I got a little bit tight, but we lost track position when they beat us out of the pits there and I never could regain it."
Clint Bowyer lead a big chunk of the race
Jimmie Johnson wins at MartinsvilleCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun