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Johnson rides momentum into Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 31, 2011) – Jimmie Johnson has plenty of momentum behind him as he heads to Martinsville Speedway for this Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.

Johnson’s runner-up finish last weekend was his third top-three finish of the Cup season and pushed him up two spots to fifth in the driver standings.

At Martinsville, Johnson has finished outside of the top-10 only once in his 18 Cup races at the speedway and owns a career record there of six wins, 13 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet ranks second-among all active drivers in wins at the speedway, and five of his victories occurred in the last nine events at the .526-mile oval.  Most recently, he went to Victory Lane after leading 42 laps on March 29, 2009.

“For me, it’s just a fun place to race,” Johnson said. “I encourage friends and family to come to the track and watch. It’s a great snapshot of NASCAR in the old days where you’re right on top of the action whether you’re in pit road or in the grandstands. I just personally enjoy the challenge that track brings, and I think it’s a cool venue. Outside of that I guess I’m just a competitor and every time I’m in the car I want to win and want to be as fast as I can.”

Pre-race coverage of the Martinsville event begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the green flag is scheduled to drop at 1 p.m.

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