Gordon outraces all

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2003

MARTINSVILLE, Va. Jeff Gordon overpowered the rest of the field Sunday, completing a season sweep of the two NASCAR Winston Cup races at Martinsville Speedway.

The victory in the caution-filled Subway 500 was the 63rd win of Gordon's career but only his second of the season. The four-time series champion led 313 of the 500 laps on the half-mile oval.

''This baby just needed to be out front in clean air and it was a rocketship,'' Gordon said. ''It's awesome to be back in Victory Lane.''

Jimmie Johnson, Gordon's protege and Hendrick Motorsports teammate, started 26th and lost more ground when he spun out early in the race, but came back to finish second.

It was a typical short track race, with plenty of bumping and banging that produced 15 caution flags and a record 117 laps run under yellow.

Gordon started from the pole, dominated early, struggled for a while, then came back even stronger.

Gordon, who now owns five victories at Martsinville, led the final 205 laps, easily pulling away on each of a series of restarts and staying out of trouble on the narrow track.

After a terrible July and August during which he had only two finishes better than 19th in a nine-race stretch, Gordon came into Sunday's race with five consecutive fifth-place finishes.

Series leader Matt Kenseth, who came into the race with a 267-point margin over Kevin Harvick, finished 13th and saw his lead over Harvick cut to 240 points with four races remaining.

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