NASCAR at Martinsville 500 2013 Leaderboard: Results, Sprint Cup Standings, More

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NASCAR at Martinsville 500 2013 Leaderboard: Results, Sprint Cup Standings, More
(Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag after passing Matt Kenseth with 21 laps to go at the Martinsville 500 on Sunday, an event marred by 17 cautions and over 100 laps being run under yellow.

Gordon's win helped him make up some ground for the season championship, but the gains were minimal. That is due to the fact that the two Chase leaders ran strong. Kenseth finished second and Jimmie Johnson fifth.

This creates a tie atop the standings with just three races to go.    

Martinsville 500 Results
Pos. Driver Manufacturer
1 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
2 Matt Kenseth Toyota
3 Clint Bowyer Toyota
4 Brad Keselowski Ford
5 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
6 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
7 Denny Hamlin Toyota
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet
9 Greg Biffle Ford
10 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet
11 Jeff Burton Chevrolet
12 Carl Edwards Ford
13 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet
14 Joey Logano Ford
15 Kyle Busch Toyota
16 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota
17 Danica Patrick Chevrolet
18 Kurt Busch Chevrolet
19 Marcos Ambrose Ford
20 Aric Almirola Ford
21 Casey Mears Ford
22 Paul Menard Chevrolet
23 David Gilliland Ford
24 Travis Kvapil Toyota
25 Elliott Sadler Toyota
26 Michael McDowell Ford
27 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet
28 Ken Schrader Ford
29 Landon Cassill Chevrolet
30 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet
31 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford
32 Bobby Labonte Toyota
33 Joe Nemechek Toyota
34 Josh Wise Ford
35 Cole Whitt Toyota
36 Mark Martin Chevrolet
37 David Reutimann Toyota
38 Ryan Newman Chevrolet
39 Dave Blaney Chevrolet
40 Reed Sorenson Ford
41 Tony Raines Chevrolet
42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet
43 David Ragan Ford


Sprint Cup Standings
Pos. Driver Points Deficit
1 Matt Kenseth 2294 0
2 Jimmie Johnson 2294 0
3 Jeff Gordon 2267 -27
4 Kevin Harvick 2266 -28
5 Kyle Busch 2258 -36
6 Clint Bowyer 2239 -55
7 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2238 -56
8 Greg Biffle 2236 -58
9 Kurt Busch 2219 -75
10 Carl Edwards 2218 -76
11 Joey Logano 2209 -85
12 Ryan Newman 2188 -106
13 Kasey Kahne 2170 -124


Eight-time Martinsville winner Johnson entered this race with a slim four-point lead on Matt Kenseth. Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were next in line at 26 points behind. Still, the way Johnson and Kenseth have been running, all eyes were on those two when it came to the Chase for the Sprint Cup.   

Both drivers started in the front two rows. NASCAR tweeted this picture of the race start:

Johnson was strong from the beginning, and to help his effort, teammate Jeff Gordon worked his way into second. Making this even more ideal for Johnson is whom Gordon passed to take over second: 

The pair looked like they had the cars to dominate the track. However, with an ample amount of cautions about to take over this race, we were set for a day of endless pack-jumbling and strategic pit stops. 

Watching Johnson, it was easy to tell how much was at stake in this race. He was driving as aggressively as he has all year. Johnson was consistently positioned on the outside on restarts, as the outside lane was really rough Sunday—a noticeable disadvantage.

Johnson, who was not afraid to cut others off to get back on the inside, was lucky one of the interior drivers did not send him into the wall. 

He certainly didn't make any friends: 

Meanwhile, Matt Kenseth took a gamble with under 200 laps to go to grab fresh tires. The move cost him his place on the track, but it soon had him in a favorable position. 

However, with all the cautions in this race, Kenseth couldn't get the long run he needed to really make that gamble pay off, and in the process, Johnson also replaced his tires and began to charge through the field. 

Johnson moved back into the top 10 with 140 laps to go. Meanwhile, Kenseth had reclaimed second and was chasing Clint Bowyer. 

We soon had another caution, the 15th of the day, and Johnson and Kenseth both swapped tires. Kenseth began that restart in third and Johnson seventh. Soon after the restart, Kenseth had pulled out in front. 

Kenseth got comfortable in the lead, and on the 98th lap, he passed Johnson for most laps led on the day, which is important due to the bonus point that comes with it.

However, this is when No. 24 began running down Kenseth.

Jeff Gordon would not relent. Entering this race 34 points back, he was yearning for the win, and with 21 laps to go, Gordon took the lead. That put Kenseth in second, with Johnson trailing in fifth. 

Gordon began to pull away to take the checkered flag, while Kenseth narrowly held off Clint Bowyer for second.

As Johnson says, this sets up for a dynamic finish to the season.  

Here are the three races left:

Remaining Sprint Races
Date Race Location
Nov. 3 NSCS at Texas Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 10 NSCS at Phoenix Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 17 Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Homestead-Miami Speedway

Who will win the Chase?

Submit Vote vote to see results

It is easy to side with Jimmie Johnson when looking ahead at the Chase. The five-time champ is running strong and he has experience.    

However, Kenseth proved he will not go away quietly.

Johnson has been dominant at this track over the years, while Kenseth has struggled. Still, that didn't keep Kenseth from closing the gap on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. 

It is going to be an entertaining final three races. 

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