After capturing his seventh career win at Martinsville Speedway, Jimmie Johnson is one big step closer to his sixth Sprint Cup championship. Johnson's victory Sunday at the famed paperclip erased a seven-point deficit in the Chase standings, knocking Brad Keselowski from his perch as points leader with three races remaining.
Johnson, who captured his fourth victory of the year, took a two-point lead in the standings over Keselowski, whose sixth-place finish was a career high at Martinsville.
Keselowski gambled on a late caution flag, opting to stay out instead of heading to pit road for fresh tires with most of the rest of the pack. The move helped him climb the leaderboard, but he was easy pickings for returning cars.
Race favorite Denny Hamlin, who had won three of the last six races at Martinsville, twice overcame penalties to work his way forward and looked to be in contention. An electrical problem, though, crushed his chances, sending him to a 33rd-place finish and endi...