MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon had dominant cars at Martinsville, but neither won. For the second consecutive race at the track, some late tangling with each other had a lot to do with it.
Bowyer, who led 154 laps, finished sixth, and Gordon was eighth after leading 92 laps.
"I was door-to-door with him and he just turned left to block me and I was already there," Bowyer said about Gordon, a four-time series champion who was stuck in the outside lane on a late restart. "I hit the brakes and wheel-hopped. I hit him so hard and tried to stay off him. It was a bad deal right there. You can see I was there and he just kept turning left on me and I was like, 'Hey, you better not do that.' It is what it is. It was a good day for us."
In the spring on the 0.526-mile oval, Bowyer's daring late move to the inside of turn one wiped out himself, Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, costing all three of them a chance at the victory. This time, Gordon said he wasn't sure exactly what happened.
"We were on the outside and I mean we were sitting ducks on the outside," Gordon said. "I was just trying to get down. I felt like I got down in front of him, but maybe I didn't. I don't know."
There were no hard feelings, Gordon said.
"I like Clint a lot. We race really hard together and we were just racing hard right there," he said.
Bowyer said getting beat out of the pits late cost him as much as anything else.
"Man, I thought we had a car capable of winning," he said.
Just like in the spring.
MISUNDERSTANDING: Denny Hamlin's two penalties for entering pit road didn't cost him, but left him somewhat confused.
He said the way his team measured his speed and the way NASCAR did didn't match up, and he twice was sent to the back of the field.
"I think that there was something more to that than what we thought," he said of the calculations. "Nothing we couldn't overcome. We still drove our tails right back up to the front twice and passed the (Johnson) about four times."
Hamlin finished 33rd, and saw his championship hopes wiped away, after an electrical problem sent him to the garage.
"It's frustrating," he said. "What can you do?"
OLD TIMER'S DAY: NASCAR Hall of Famers Junior Johnson, Leonard Wood, Ned Jarrett and Dale Inman spent some time sharing recollections Sunday, and Johnson and Jarrett shared the title for the best story.