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Three Sprint Cup drivers treated in medical center after Martinsville race

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Following the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Sprint Cup drivers Michael McDowell, AJ Allmendinger and Michael Annett were treated in the infield care center for various ailments.

McDowell, driver of Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing’s No. 95, was treated for dehydration and burns on his feet. McDowell had to be taken to the medical center on a stretcher. McDowell entered the race having dealt with pneumonia and strep throat according to NBC Sports’ Mike Massaro.

“The floors get hot here at Martinsville,” McDowell told Massaro after leaving the medical center under his own power. “I had a fan that broke so it wasn’t getting in fresh air down to the floor board. Everything gets so hot and the brakes are so hot. The next few weeks won’t be much fun putting a driving shoe on.”

Allmendinger, driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG-Daugherty Racing, was treated for overheating but was quickly released from the medical center.

HScott Motorsports’ Annett was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning a team spokesman told NBC Sports. Damage to the left-rear of Annett’s No. 46 car caused fumes to enter the car.

McDowell finished 18th, Allmendinger in 10th and Annett in 35th in the race

Jeff Gordon thinks Martinsville will be his last race (video)

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After finishing sixth at Martinsville, Jeff Gordon discusses his future in NASCAR and Jimmie Johnson‘s victory. Gordon made his last of eight substitute starts in the No. 88 for Dale Earnhardt Jr. a year after winning his last Sprint Cup race at Martinsville in 2015.

Jimmie Johnson runs away with Martinsville win, advancing to championship race

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Jimmie Johnson led the final 92 laps of the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 to capture his ninth career win at Martinsville Speedway, his 79th career win, and clinched one of the four spots in the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Johnson took the lead on Lap 409 from Denny Hamlin and wasn’t challenged afterward.

The No. 48 was followed by Brad Keselowski, Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano and AJ Allmendinger.

“Anything you want in life you have to work for it,” Johnson told NBCSN. “It isn’t going to come easy and we knew that coming into this race and there’s so many challenges at this racetrack.”

Johnson’s victory, his fourth of the year, came after he accidently shut off his car during the final caution period, which lasted 29 laps amid confusion over the restart order after the caution came out during green-flag stops.

“This is the right time to start winning races.,” said Johnson, who last won at Martinsville in 2013. “I’ve been trying to ignore this conversation about seven (championships), and now I can’t. We’re locked in.”

This is the first time that Johnson, who has six Sprint Cup titles, has advanced to the championship race in the elimination format.

Johnson’s win ensures that Joe Gibbs Racing won’t put all four of its cars in the Chase championship in Miami.

MORE: Point standings

MORE: Race results

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Jeff Gordon finished sixth in likely his last Sprint Cup start. Gordon earned top 10s in his last two starts at Martinsville and Dover … Brad Keselowski earned his first top five in five races … Pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr. led 147 laps before finishing seventh … Kyle Busch earned his fourth top five in the last six races … AJ Allmendinger finished 10th for his third straight top 10 and his eighth of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Carl Edwards brought out a caution during green flag stops on Lap 356 after losing a tire and hitting the Turn 1 wall. Edwards finished 36th … NASCAR timing and scoring had a bad day at the office. The Edwards caution came during green-flag stops and confusion over the restart order and free passes caused the caution  to last 29 laps … Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished last after wrecking on his own in Turn 3 on Lap 21 … Stewart-Haas Racing had an uncommon race with all four of its cars finishing off the lead lap. Kevin Harvick was the team’s highest finisher in 20th, two laps down.

NOTABLE: Gray Gaulding finished 39th, 140 laps down in his first Sprint Cup start … Hendrick Motorsports’ 24 wins at Martinsville is the all-time record for an organization at one track.

Quote of the Day: “We worked so good together we gave the win to the 48 today. That’s how good JGR is.” – Kyle Busch after Joe Gibbs Racing placed three of its cars in the top five.

Next: AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway at 2 p.m. ET on Nov. 6 on NBC.

Matt Kenseth leads Toyota parade at halfway point in Martinsville

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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Matt Kenseth is the leader at the halfway point in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Kenseth has led 71 laps in the first race of the Round of 8 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The top 10 after 250 laps is Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., AJ AllmendingerJoey Logano, Austin Dillon, Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray.

Kurt Busch is the lowest-running Chase driver. He’s the last car on the lead lap in 23rd.

The first caution came out on Lap 23 when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun and backed into the wall in Turn 3. Stenhouse was in a backup car after a similar accident in Turn 1 during qualifying. Stenhouse will finish in last.

During the caution, Edwards and Hamlin, two of the remaining eight Chase drivers, were caught speeding. It was Hamlin’s 10th speeding penalty of the season.

The second caution waved on Lap 62 for David Ragan smoking and putting fluid on the track. Ragan had started a season-best 12th.

The third caution, for debris from a Brian Scott accident, came on Lap 133. During it, Chase driver Kevin Harvick was caught speeding. He runs in the top 20.

The fourth caution came out on Lap 201 for an advertising banner coming loose on the backstretch wall.

Kyle Larson fastest in final Sprint Cup practice at Martinsville

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Kyle Larson was fastest in the final Sprint Cup practice Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

Larson covered the .526-mile paperclip short track, the oldest in the Sprint Cup Series, at a speed of 96.088 mph.

Tony Stewart was second-fastest (96.019 mph), followed by Paul Menard (95.845), David Ragan (95.781) and Kyle Busch (95.748).

The younger Busch brother was the fastest of the eight remaining Chase drivers. Other Chase drivers and their position and speed were: Joey Logano, eighth (95.622); Kevin Harvick, 10th (95.603); Kurt Busch, 12th (95.501); Matt Kenseth, 15th (95.468); Denny Hamlin, 16th (95.371); Jimmie Johnson, 20th (95.261) and Carl Edwards, 27th (95.013).

The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 will be held Sunday at 12:30 pm ET. The race will be the first of the three-race “Round of 8” semifinals of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

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