Kurt Busch passed Martinsville master Jimmie Johnson for the lead with 10 laps to go Sunday and held off the eight-time winner to win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the first time since October 2002.
Johnson, with eight wins in 25 career starts on the 0.526-mile oval, led 11 times for 296 laps. He seemed on his way to another victory when he took the lead from Busch with 17 laps remaining. But Busch stayed close, ducked underneath Johnson seven laps later and Johnson never made a good run at the lead again.
“I didn’t know if we’d be able to do it, you know? The 48 car is king here, him or the 24,” Busch said in Victory Lane, referring to Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon, who also has eight Martinsville victories.
Busch’s 25th career victory ended a winless streak that had reached 83.
“I’ve been on this journey for a while and every time you come to Martinsville, you just kind of draw a line through it like there’s no way I’ll be able to challenge those Hendrick guys or be up in the top 10,” Busch said.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third, followed by Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose.
Will Power has picked up right where he left off last season. In Victory Lane.
Power won the season-opening IndyCar Series race through the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., with a dominating run. It continues a streak he started last season by winning three of the final five races, including the final two.
Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, Helio Castroneves was third and defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon fourth.
Juan Pablo Montoya finished 15th in his first IndyCar race after seven seasons in NASCAR.
Lewis Hamilton broke his drought at the Malaysian Grand Prix and led a one-two finish for the Mercedes team in Sepang, Malaysia.
Hamilton beat teammate Nico Rosberg by 17.3 seconds at the Sepang International Circuit, with defending world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull third.
Hamilton got away well from pole position and led throughout, winning in Malaysia for the first time, in his eighth attempt.
Alexis DeJoria won in Funny Car and Erica Enders-Stevens topped the Pro Stock field in the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas for the second female double in NHRA history. Tony Schumacher won in Top Fuel for his division-record 73rd victory.