Bush denies Johnson another Martinsville winKurt 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 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.
Busch’s 25th career victory ended a winless streak that had reached 83, and in the least likely of places.
It was Busch’s first victory in his first season driving for Stewart-Haas Racing in a car funded solely by Gene Haas, who hand-picked the 2004 series champion because he said he wanted to see a team win with his name on the car.
“It’s a dream come true to have Gene Haas call you and tell you he wants you to drive,’’ Busch said. “He wants to go for trophies and wins. It’s just an unbelievable feeling to deliver for Haas Automation.’’