Johnson Wins A Million

Johnson celebrates his win  at Victory Lane in Charlotte
Photo – Getty Images
By Jason Schultz


Jimmie Johnson won his third non-points, All-Star Race Saturday Night, his second straight win in the Sprint Cup Series. Johnson played a major strategy game that paid off in the end and held off Brad Keselowski in the final segment winning a million dollars. 


This All-Star Race featured some great racing along with few incidents. 


Kyle Busch led the first 15 laps from the pole before being passed by Jimmie Johnson. 


A battle between teammates including, Kevin Harvick in the No.29 and Paul Menard in the No.27, started when Harvick blocked Menard down the backstretch. Menard didn’t appreciate it and cut Harvick off coming out of turn 4, resulting in Harvick’s contact with the wall as Menard continued advancing forward.  


At the end of segment one, Jimmie Johnson was the leader, allowing him to come down pit road first after segment four for the final ten-lap shootout. 


Ryan Newman won the race off pit road after the caution, but Hamlin opted to stay out and inherit the lead. 


After winning the first segment, Johnson started a trend by hanging in the back until the final round of pit stops started. Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus said “We’re definitely going to fall back.” The next two segment leaders would do the same until entering pit road for the final ten-lap shootout. 


Kurt Busch had troubles on lap 22 when he got into the wall off turn four with minor damage allowing him to continue. 


Following that incident, fans saw some great side-by-side racing throughout the field. 


The first unscheduled caution came out on lap 26 when Carl Edwards engine expired. 


Just three laps before the end of the second segment, Matt Kenseth took the lead from Denny Hamlin and would go on to win, earning the second spot on to pit road before the final ten-lap shootout segment. 


Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race off pit road but Brad Keselowski stayed out to take the lead. 


Once the field strung out after the restart, Keselowski led the field, followed by Kahne, Harvick, Ambrose and Earnhardt Jr. 


Coming off turn four to end the third segment, the No.2 – Keselowski and No.5 – Kahne, were racing side-by-side, with Keselowski narrowly beating Kahne to the line. 


This time it is Denny Hamlin winning the race off pit road, and Kurt Busch staying out to take the lead. 


On lap 63 in the third segment, Kurt Busch was passed by Earnhardt Jr. for the lead. 


On lap 68 the second unscheduled caution came out for Greg Biffle’s firery engine explosion which is now the second Roush Fenway engine failure for the night. Afterward, Biffle commented that Roush teams were all trying something new this weekend with their engines. 


After advancing to the All-Star race by winning the Sprint Showdown, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the fourth segment. Earnhardt Jr. entered the pits fourth in line, among the four segment-winning drivers who came down pit road first, making stop and go pit stops – quickly stopping in their pit boxes and taking off. 


After his pit crew won Thursday night’s Pit Crew Challenge, earning Johnson the first pit stall, he just beat Kenseth off pit road to take the lead, which was likely Johnson’s race winning move. 


Coming to the green to start the fifth and final shootout segment, Johnson led followed by Kenseth, Keselowski, Earnhardt Jr and Ambrose. 


Keselowski quickly passed Kenseth, as Johnson’s only competitor for the win, with the two separating from the remainder of the field. Jimmie Johnson then pulled away from Brad Keselowski to win his third All-Star Race. 


As part of Johnson’s victory celebration, he picked up his team owner Rick Hendrick and gave Mr. H a ride to victory lane. 


A disappointed Brad Keselowski said after the race, “Got beat by a five-time champ and two – now three-time All-Star winner.” 


After a great night for Earnhardt Jr, in his comments he acknowledged fans for coming out by saying, “Best crowd I’ve seen at a race in a while, great to see.” 


Johnson was pumped up in victory lane and said his car was “… so amazing.” 


A great week for Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports was capped off by Johnson’s third All-Star Race victory. 


Next weekend, NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series will race the longest race of the season in the Coca-Cola 600 right back at Charlotte, North Carolina.


Results via Nascar.com                                                                                                                                                                 


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STATUS
1
6
48
Chevrolet
Lowe’s Patriotic
0
90
Running
2
19
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
0
90
Running
3
15
17
Ford
Fifth Third Bank
0
90
Running
4
1
18
Toyota
M&M’s
0
90
Running
5
21
88
Chevrolet
Dale Jr. Foundation / National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew
0
90
Running
6
5
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser / Rheem
0
90
Running
7
18
9
Ford
DEWALT
0
90
Running
8
17
51
Chevrolet
Monster Energy
0
90
Running
9
20
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
0
90
Running
10
2
39
Chevrolet
Tornados
0
90
Running
11
22
22
Dodge
Pennzoil
0
90
Running
12
10
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row Racing
0
90
Running
13
8
24
Chevrolet
DuPont
0
90
Running
14
12
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
0
90
Running
15
11
21
Ford
Good Sam Club / Camping World
0
90
Running
16
7
27
Chevrolet
Menards / CertainTeed
0
90
Running
17
9
14
Chevrolet
Bass Pro Shops
0
90
Running
18
14
34
Ford
US Shredder
0
90
Running
19
23
47
Toyota
Kingsford
0
90
Running
20
3
11
Toyota
FedEx Office
0
90
Running
21
16
55
Toyota
Aaron’s Dream Machine
0
90
Running
22
4
16
Ford
3M / American Red Cross
0
67
Engine
23
13
99
Ford
Fastenal
0
25
Engine


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