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Magic 8th for Johnson at Martinsville

Clint Bowyer is the biggest gainer in positions, up six spots to eighth place, while Carl Edwards loses three places after a troubled Martinsville event. But at least he was out on the track: Denny Hamlin drops out of the top ten after missing the race with a compression fracture in his lower back, although he was on hand over the weekend to help out his stand-in, Mark Martin, who managed a solid tenth place finish despite being completely unfamiliar with the JGR car and set-up.

"I'm proud of the effort that Mark Martin did," said Hamlin. "He is a guy that has been around longer than any driver in our sport but he wants to be treated like a rookie. He wants constant information all the time, and I just tried to do the best I could to give him the information when he needed it."

Seeing Hamlin around the paddock this weekend less than two weeks after his smash at Fontana led many to speculate that he might be back in the race seat sooner than forecast, but Hamlin admitted that being at the track had only brought it home to him how his recovery couldn't be rushed.

"I didn't realize the physical toll that coming out here all three days was going to take on me, so I might back off a little bit in the future," he said. "Come for one or two days to keep from rusting out.

"The start of the race was nothing like I thought it would be," he added. " I thought I was over it before I even got to the race track and thought that [I would be] emotionally tough enough to get through it, but the start of the race absolutely killed me. That was very, very tough to watch."

JGR's regular Nationwide Series driver Brian Vickers will now take over the #11 until Hamlin's return, starting from next week at Texas Motor Speedway.

Full race results and Sprint Cup Championship standings are available.



Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, races Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Jani-King/STP Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 on April 7, 2013 at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag from NASCAR official Rodney Wise after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 on April 7, 2013 at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 RK Motors Toyota, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fifth Third Ford, and others are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 on April 7, 2013 at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS celebrates victory Sunday, April 7, 2013 at Martinsville Speedway for the STP Gas Booster 500 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevrolet)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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