Johnson gets dominating win at Kansas
Amanda Vincent is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
For the second week in a row, Jimmie Johnson led the most laps of that weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, but in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, the driver parlayed that dominance into a race win.
“We did our job today,” Johnson said in victory lane.
The win was Johnson’s second of the season. It was also Hendrick Motorsports’ 199th victory all-time at the Sprint Cup level.
Kasey Kahne finished second, and Brad Keselowski was third.
Roush Fenway Racing teammates, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, started the race on the front row, but Edwards drifted back through the field and eventually fell off the lead lap. Biffle did lead the first 20 laps of the race but lost the top spot under caution when Johnson and Matt Kenseth beat him off of pit road.
Biffle reclaimed the lead on lap 65 and was still up front soon after when the field cycled through green-flag pit stops. He lost that lead, though, on lap 75 to Johnson. Johnson then led much of the remainder of the race, just losing the lead for short amounts of time when the field would cycle through green-flag stops and during cautions when some drivers would opt to stay out for track position.
Each time he was shuffled back a few positions, though, Johnson would quickly make his way back up to the front.
His HMS teammate, Jeff Gordon, brought out a caution in the closing laps to set the race up for a green-white-checker, two-lap sprint to the finish. Johnson restarted with Kahne alongside in second. Kahne had taken four tires on a previous pit stop to Johnson’s two, but Johnson was able to get out in front of him on the restart and sailed to the win.
“Jimmie just beat me on the restart,” Kahne said.
Kenseth finished fourth, and Edwards rallied from a lap down to finish fifth.
“I feel like we won,” Edwards said of finishing in the top-five after going a lap down.
With his top-five finish, Edwards claimed sole possession of the championship points lead. He headed into the Kansas race tied with Kevin Harvick for the top spot. Harvick finished sixth to Edwards’ fifth, so Edwards left Kansas Speedway with a one point lead over now-second-place Harvick. Johnson is now third in points after his race win.
“I’m just really happy with the way the team’s clicking right now,” Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus said.
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