Gordon overpowers field

Published 12:00 am 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.

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.

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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.

As he did in his victory here in April, 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.

Johnson trailed Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet across the finish line by 1.036-seconds - about 5 car-lengths.

Tony Stewart finished third, just ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who appeared to have the second best car through most of the race.