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The Boston Globe

Sports

AUTO RACING

Roundup: Martinsville ruled by Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson dominated Martinsville Speedway again.

Johnson led a career-best 346 laps Sunday and pulled away on a restart with eight laps to go for his eighth career victory at the track.

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‘‘It was just a long, fought day,’’ Johnson said after climbing from his car in Victory Lane. ‘‘Martinsville, it stays the same over the years and you just have to dig in and get your own rhythm. Fortunately, the fastest car won the race.’’

The victory moved Johnson into third place in career victories on the shortest track in the Sprint Cup Series, trailing only Richard Petty (15 victories) and Darrell Waltrip (11).

It also made team owner Rick Hendrick’s organization the winningest team in Martinsville history with 20, breaking a tie it had with the Petty organization.

The five-time series champion picked the inside line for the final restart with Clint Bowyer on the outside, teammate Jeff Gordon behind him, and Kyle Busch to his outside. Johnson got a clean break for the lead into Turn 1.

Bowyer slid into second and Busch, who tried to make a move on the outside line, instead got hung up out there as Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne, who restarted fifth, went underneath to take third and fourth, respectively.

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Nothing changed the rest of the way and the top five finished in those positions.

Gordon, who was tied with Johnson and Rusty Wallace with seven victories on the 0.526-mile oval, said he knew it would be a tough day when Johnson won the pole for the second race in a row here because of the pit road advantage.

‘‘You give him that No. 1 pit stall here at Martinsville, it’s almost impossible,’’ Gordon said.

Mark Martin, driving for the injured Denny Hamlin, moved into fourth place after taking a chance and getting just two tires on a pit stop, but then faded quickly.

Martin, mindful of Hamlin’s four career victories at Martinsville, finished a disappointing 10th.

‘‘I did not fill Denny Hamlin’s shoes, I can tell you that much,’’ he said.

IndyCar — Ryan Hunter-Reay held off Scott Dixon to win the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

Dixon finished second for the fourth consecutive year on the Birmingham, Ala., road course.

‘‘I was dragging my tail off trying to hold off Dixon,’’ Hunter-Reay said.

Helio Castroneves was third and AJ Allmendinger ran seventh for most of his IndyCar debut, but finished 19th after stalling his car during his final pit stop.

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