Jimmie Johnson’s expectations are high at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, and his results keep showing why.
The five-time series champion raced to his seventh career victory on NASCAR’s trickiest oval Sunday, and the triumph helped him erase a seven-point deficit and supplant Brad Keselowski as the points leader with three events remaining.
But before handing Johnson the title, he cautioned, there’s plenty of racing yet to do.
“I’m ecstatic about the win today and ecstatic about the points lead, but this is no cake walk,” Johnson said after the 59th victory of his career and fourth this season.
Johnson moved two points ahead of Keselowski, who finished sixth for his highest career showing at the track. The series next moves to Texas and Phoenix before finishing up at Homestead-Miami.
“I know this championship’s going to come down to Homestead,” Keselowski said. “You’ve just got to be in position to where you’ve got a shot at it and we’re doing the things it’s going to take.”
Busch was second, followed by Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne and Aric AlmirolaGreg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., finished 10th.
INDYCAR CEO OUT
Randy Bernard stepped down as CEO of IndyCar on Sunday, bringing an end to a three-year reign that was disrupted this season by several attempts by team owners to have him ousted as head of the series.
The decision was announced following an executive session conducted by teleconference by the 11-member Indianapolis Motor Speedway board of directors.
Jeff Belskus, the president of IMS and president and CEO of Hulman & Co., will step in as interim CEO of the IndyCar Series. Bernard, who has two years remaining on the contract, will stay on in an advisory position.
Ron Capps raced to his fifth Funny Car victory of the season, winning the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas to cut Jack Beckman’s series lead to four points with one race remaining.… Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Indian Grand Prix in Greater Noida to extend his Formula One championship lead, though rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari kept up the pressure with a second-place finish.