FONTANA, Calif. — Jimmie Johnson is back in control of NASCAR's Chase for the Championship.
The three-time defending Sprint Cup champion easily pulled away from Jeff Gordon following a restart with three laps left to win the Pepsi 500 on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.
Mark Martin, who started the day with an 18-point lead over Johnson, was fourth and now trails Johnson by 12 points heading into next Saturday's race at Charlotte.
Columbia native Carl Edwards finished sixth to move from 10th to eighth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings. Edwards, who has not won a race this season but has 13 top-10 finishes, trails Johnson by 192 points.