Johnson wins again at Atlanta

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Source: Nascar

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are quickly turning the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship into their own private duel.

A two-tire stop for Johnson paid off with a victory Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, making the Chase a virtual dead heat at the top between the reigning champion and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate and friend.

Johnson and Gordon, who came into the Pep Boys Auto 500 separated by 53 points, both struggled with the handling on their Chevrolets most of the day. But, thanks to a wild finish, they wound up first and seventh, leaving four-time champion Gordon with a nine-point lead with three of the 10 Chase races remaining.

Johnson wins again at Atlanta


"I just think it’s going to be a fight to the end," Johnson said. "We took a good bite out of Jeff’s points lead and it’s going to come down to a position or two in the next three. Now, I feel very good about where we are in the points. We can go lead laps, we can try to lead the most laps and really race for this championship over the next three races. I’m very excited about that."

With all the leaders concerned about running out of gas, rookie Johnny Sauter’s blown tire brought out the 11th of a track-record 12 caution flags on the 318th of a scheduled 325 laps on the 1.5-mile suburban Atlanta oval.

Johnson wins again at Atlanta


Denny Hamlin, who had been running sixth, was the only leader who stayed on track, taking the lead. The others pitted and Johnson jumped from fifth to second as crew chief Chad Knaus made a late decision to change only two tires.

The race restarted on Lap 323, but Hamlin ran out of gas on the restart and cars began dodging everywhere to try to miss him and each other. Martin Truex Jr., who had one of the best cars all day, wound up slamming into the rear of Hamlin and the caution waved again.

That left Johnson, who barely dodged Hamlin’s slow car, in the lead, with Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr. right behind and set up two-lap overtime.

Johnson wins again at Atlanta


The race resumed on Lap 328 and, before the leaders got through the first turn, something snapped in the rear of Earnhardt’s car, sending him spinning into the wall. He collected Jamie McMurray, who had been running fifth, and the race ended under yellow with Johnson picking up his eighth win of the season and second in a row.

Enjoy this video whit the last laps from the race!

Pep Boys Auto 500 - Results

Pos.

Driver

Make

1.

Jimmie Johnson

Chevrolet

2.

Carl Edwards

Ford

3.

Reed Sorenson

Dodge

4.

Matt Kenseth

Ford

5.

Jeff Burton

Chevrolet

6.

Clint Bowyer

Chevrolet

7.

Jeff Gordon

Chevrolet

8.

Kurt Busch

Dodge

9.

Kasey Kahne

Dodge

10.

Brian Vickers

Toyota

Johnson wins again at Atlanta

Nextel Cup Series - Standings

Pos.

+/-

Driver

Points

Behind

1.

-

Jeff Gordon

6201

Leader

2.

-

Jimmie Johnson

6192

-9

3.

-

Clint Bowyer

6090

-111

4.

+1

Carl Edwards

5940

-261

5.

-1

Tony Stewart

5879

-322

6.

-

Kyle Busch

5873

-328

7.

-

Kevin Harvick

5809

-392

8.

+1

Jeff Burton

5801

-400

9.

+1

Kurt Busch

5782

-419

10.

-2

Denny Hamlin

5777

-424

11.

+1

Matt Kenseth

5753

-448

12.

-1

Martin Truex Jr.

5688

-513


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