RIDGEWAY, VA :: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rocketed to the lead in the closing laps of the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 after getting shuffled back to the fifth position during pit stops inside 10 laps to go.  Earnhardt, Jr.’s win was his fourth of the season and his first ever win at Martinsville.

Prior to Sunday’s race, Earnhardt, Jr. had said that Josh Berry’s win in the Fall Brawl at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday night gave him extra motivation to score the victory.

Earnhardt, Jr. led 79 laps in the 500 lap race – most of those being in the closing stages of the race.  Earnhardt, Jr. appeared destined to win until an incident involving Marcos Ambrose and Kyle Larson with 10 laps to go changed the complexion of the race.

All but three cars (Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and David Ragan) pitted, putting Stewart in the lead for the six lap dash.  Two laps after the restart, Earnhardt, Jr. powered by Stewart and pulled away to score the victory.  Stewart ended up fading to a fourth place finish as Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman both got around him to finish second and third respectively.

“I always wanted [a grandfather clock],” Earnhardt, Jr. said.  “I came close several times.  We’ve had some good finishes here even in the Bud days.  Several races, the car should have won but the driver didn’t.  It all worked out.  Everything has to go right for you.  It all has to fall in to place.  Everything was hitting on all cylinders, we had amazing pit stops, good smart aggressive strategy by Steve [Letarte]… at the end, the right things had to happen on the restart to get by those guys and it did.  The clock seems so hard to get.  This is so special.  I try not to get caught up in the emotion because it’s a team deal but this is special.”

The victory is Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s 23rd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory and his fourth win of the season.

Sunday’s race featured classic Martinsville action, with multiple drivers leaving the race with hurt feelings.  Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers got together three times in the race, Kevin Harvick found himself in the wall after contact from Matt Kenseth and Danica Patrick found herself taken out of contention off the front bumper of Martin Truex, Jr. in an act of retaliation.

The feud between Kahne and Vickers came on lap 161 when Vickers spun off the front bumper of Kahne.  Vickers retaliated on lap 222, sending Kahne in to the wall.  Kahne’s crew was able to repair the car and he rejoined the race and retaliated for Vickers’ retaliation on lap 278.  After the third incident, NASCAR officials told both crew chiefs to inform their drivers that their on-track feud was done.

The red flag came out twice in the race, once for the incident with 10 laps to go and the other time for a lap 438 incident involving Casey Mears, Vickers, Truex, Kahne, Patrick and others.  The caution came out 15 times for a total of 105 laps and the race featured 24 lead changes among 11 drivers.