October 25th 2009
Denny Hamlin turned a dominant car into
a winner at Martinsville Speedway, passing Jimmie Johnson with 138
laps to go Sunday and holding off the Chase leader on a series of
Helped by a long green-flag run, Hamlin pulled away after a
restart with 52 laps to go, ending Johnson's remarkable run of five
trips to Victory Lane in the last six races at the shortest circuit
in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.
Hamlin easily pulled away again on another restart with 12 laps
to go, and again when a late crash by Scott Speed forced a two-lap
sprint to the finish of the 501-lap event.
Hamlin's second career victory on the 0.526-mile oval kept the
Virginia racer as the only driver besides Johnson to win on the
paper clip-shaped track in the last seven races. Johnson held on
for second and padded his lead in the series standings.