MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Jeff Gordon celebrated the last win of his NASCAR career as if it was his first trip to Victory Lane.

He jumped and screamed and sprayed champagne as if he was a fresh-faced rookie last year at Martinsville Speedway. A scripted finish to an iconic career couldn’t have written it better.

That win last November at Martinsville put Gordon in the championship finale and ensured him one final shot at a fifth title. Although he came up empty, that one final victory was something to savor.

So he had mixed feelings returning to the Virginia track this weekend because who wants to spoil such a memory? Gordon is driving his eighth and final scheduled race as the replacement driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is out with a concussion.

“There is a part of me that wasn’t sure if I wanted to come back and take away from that, but at the same time, I’ve always said if there was one track where I felt like I could get back in the car and feel comfortable and competitive, it’s this track,” Gordon said Friday. “For that, I’m happy that I’m here.”

n Martin Truex Jr. vowed to win the remaining races this season once he was knocked out of the NASCAR playoffs.

A pole-winning run Friday at Martinsville Speedway was a strong step toward fulfilling that goal.

Truex turned a lap at 98.206 mph to take the top starting spot Sunday.

It was the fifth pole of the season for Truex, who also won the pole last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. A blown engine in his Toyota led to his elimination from the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

FORMULA ONE: The Williams team said its founder, Frank Williams, has been fighting pneumonia since the Italian Grand Prix and remains hospitalized.

The chief executive, Mike O’Driscoll, said the illness has been tough on the 74-year-old Williams, but he’s making slow and steady progress. His daughter, deputy team principal Claire Williams, is not at the Mexican Grand Prix and has missed several races to be with her father.