Sunday, March 29, 2009. (AP) -- Jimmie Johnson nudged Denny Hamlin aside in the third and fourth turns with 15 laps to go and gave team owner Rick Hendrick a perfect place to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his first victory in NASCAR's premier series: Victory Lane.
Johnson, dubbed "Mr. Martinsville" by Jeff Gordon, lived up to his moniker, winning for the fifth time in the last six races on the smallest, trickiest track in the series. It was his sixth victory at the 0.526-mile oval, second only to Gordon's seven among active drivers.
Hamlin, the defending race champion, never challenged Johnson after he slid high into the banking after the bump and pass, and his winless streak extended to 32 races.
Hamlin finished second, followed by Tony Stewart, Gordon and Clint Bowyer.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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