Gamble Nets Johnson 1st Win of '08

No. 48 Chevrolet stays on track while everyone else pits down stretch
By Mitch Pritchard,  Newser User
Posted Apr 13, 2008 9:50 AM CDT
Jimmie Johnson, front, leads Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers through turn three during the NASCAR Subway Fresh Fit 500 auto race last night in Avondale, Ariz. Johnson won the race.   (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
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(Newser) – Jimmie Johnson gave Hendrick Motorsports its first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of the year, winning a fuel gamble last night at Phoenix International Speedway. As leader after leader dove for the pits to take on gas in the waning laps, Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet stayed on track and the two-time reigning Cup champion made it to the finish, beating Clint Bowyer by 7.002 seconds.

Forty-nine-year-old Mark Martin, now a part-time driver in the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 8, battled at the front with its former driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., for a lot of the 312-lap race on the mile oval. And it appeared Martin had his first win since 2005 locked up after he passed Earnhardt on lap 272 and began to pull away, building leads of more than a second.