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MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Jeff Gordon pulled into the NASCAR championship picture Sunday with a victory at Martinsville Speedway, his first of the Sprint Cup Series season.

It was Gordon’s eighth career victory at Martinsville, but the first since he swept the two races at the track in 2005. He is tied with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson for Martinsville victories, though both trail Richard Petty (15) and Darrell Waltrip (11).

Gordon improved from fifth to third in the 13-driver, 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Matt Kenseth and Johnson left Martinsville tied atop the standings with three races remaining, and Gordon is 27 points behind the leaders. Kevin Harvick is 28 behind.

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Gordon snapped a 32-race winless streak.

“I’m just so proud of my team for never giving up,” Gordon said.

Kenseth finished second and Johnson was fifth.

Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., placed ninth. Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw was 27th of 43.

Biffle approached Johnson on pit road after the race and pointed a finger in his face. He blamed Johnson for knocking his bumper loose.

“We finally have a good car at Martinsville and we worked our way all the way up to sixth or seventh — and then we just got a rear bumper tore off,” Biffle was quoted as saying by NASCAR News Service. “It takes a lot to get a rear bumper tore off.

“I’ve got to look back and see what happened. He claims he was inside of me; it sure felt like he hit me from behind and rubbed across (the back of the car).”

Vettel wins his 4th F1 title in a row

GREATER NOIDA, India – Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Indian Grand Prix from the pole and clinched his fourth straight Formula One title. Three races remain in the season.

Vettel, 26, of Germany became the third driver to win four consecutive F1 championships, joining Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.

“I’m way too young to understand what it means,” Vettel said.

Note

John Force, 64, won his record 16th Funny Car season title at the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas. Other winners were Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).