by Garrett Horton
Brad Keselowski has never scored a top-10 in eight career races at Texas Motor Speedway, which is where the series will race this weekend.
Johnson’s win from the pole on Sunday marked just the second time this year a driver has won the race starting from the top spot. Joey Logano’s win at Pocono was the only other event in 2012 that a polesitter went on to win on raceday.
Aric Almirola finished fourth at Martinsville, matching his career-best finish. He also finished fourth in the season finale at Homestead in 2010, driving the RPM No. 9 Budweiser Ford.
Kyle Busch has accumulated the sixth highest total of points during this years Chase, despite two finishes of 28th and 31st. Every other finish has been a top-10 effort, and his four top-5’s trail only Jimmie Johnson’s five in the last seven races.
Jimmie Johnson has led laps in eight consecutive races, including every race in the Chase.
Bobby Labonte finished ninth, his best finish of the season and just his second top-10 in 2012.
Johnson’s win ended a winless slump for both Hendrick Motorsports and for the entire Chevy camp. The last time Chevy had won prior to Sunday was 11 races ago at Pocono, when Hendrick driver Jeff Gordon took the rain shortened victory.
Denny Hamlin’s frustrating day at Martinsville resulted in a 33rd-place finish, just the second time in 15 starts at the half-mile paper clip he finished lower than 12th and his worst result since he finished 37th here in his rookie season.
Clint Bowyer continues to improve on what has been a career year in 2012, already eclipsing previous single season marks in wins, top-5’s, and top-10’s. Bowyer is also on track to record his best-ever average finish for the season. Another statistical category that now looks like he will best is laps led. After leading 154 laps on Sunday, Bowyer now has led 388 for the year, just 12 short of his personal high of 400 in 2010.
Jeff Gordon led a combined total of 421 laps in both Martinsville races this year. He has led just a total of 133 in all other races in 2012.