Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jimmie Johnson Dominates at Texas

 Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Jimmie Johnson dominated the AAA Texas 500 from Texas Motor Speedway on his way to victory on Sunday.

Photo courtesy Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Johnson led 254 of 334 laps on Sunday and completely dominated the competition.  Johnson said he credits the testing his team did at Texas as a reason for their success.

"We came here and tested, and did an awesome job deciding what made a good car and make good speed," Johnson told ESPN.  "Just a dominant day for this team.  A great car, great engine and great pit stops across the board."

Johnson told ESPN that, even though he now leads Matt Kenseth by seven points, he knows there is still a lot of racing left this season.

"You fall into a rhythm and think you have it won, and that's not how it is," said Johnson.  "Matt still finished in the top five, and there are still two weeks left.  Very important to finish strong, and two very important races left to go."

Carl Edwards won the pole for the race, and he led the field to the green flag. He cleared Brad Keselowski for the lead heading into Turn 1, and he led until Johnson took the lead for the first time on lap 10.

The first caution of the day came out on lap 16 for debris.  The leader brought their cars down pit road, and Edwards won the race off pit road thanks to pitting in the first pit stall.

Edwards led the field to the green flag on lap 19, and he led until Johnson passed him for the lead again on lap 33.

Kyle Busch hit the wall on lap 58 to bring out the second caution of the day.  The field came down pit road, and Edwards used his good pit stall to win the race off pit road again.

The race restarted on lap 65, and Edwards cleared Johnson for the lead.  On lap 72, Johnson was able to get around Edwards for the lead.

Jeff Gordon blew a right-front tire on lap 75 and slammed into the outside wall.  The leader came down pit road, and Keselowski won the race off pit road.

Keselowski took the green flag on lap 79, and he hung on to the lead until Johnson took the lead on lap 92.
On lap 121, Martin Truex Jr. pitted to start a round of green flag pit stops.  Johnson gave up the lead to pit on lap 125.

When pit stops had cycled around, Johnson was the leader once again.  He led until the next set of green flag stops began on lap 162.  Johnson pitted on lap 173.

Kenseth made his pit stop on lap 174, and he was caught speeding on pit road.  He had to serve a pass-through penalty under green, which dropped him from second to 16th on the track.

On lap 188, Edwards' engine let go, and it dropped oil on the backstretch.  Under the caution, Johnson led the field down pit road.

Johnson led the field to the green flag on lap 193.  On lap 240, Johnson gave up the lead to make a green flag pit stop.  Johnson's crew had a slow stop, and it allowed Kenseth to make up a lot of time that he had lost to Johnson.

Keselowski took over the lead after Johnson's slow stop, but Johnson took the lead on lap 255 after quickly working his way through the field.

As Johnson passed for the lead, the final caution of the day came out when Juan Pablo Montoya had a tire go down, which scattered debris across the track.

Following pit stops, Johnson led the field back to the green flag on lap 263.  

On lap 293, Truex began the final round of green flag pit stops.  Johnson and Kenseth pitted on lap 300, and Johnson inherited the lead after the stops had cycled around.

Johnson never looked back, and won the race by over four seconds.

Here are the unofficial results:

1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3. Joey Logano
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Kasey Kahne
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Kevin Harvick
9. Ryan Newman
10. Clint Bowyer
11. Mark Martin
12. Greg Biffle
13. Kyle Busch
14. Martin Truex Jr.
15. Paul Menard
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17. Kurt Busch
18. Parker Kligerman
19. Elliott Sadler
20. Juan Pablo Montoya
21. Marcos Ambrose
22. Austin Dillon
23. Kyle Larson
24. Jeff Burton
25. Danica Patrick
26. David Gilliland
27. Aric Almirola
28. David Reutimann
29. Trevor Bayne
30. J.J. Yeley
31. Jamie McMurray
32. Travis Kvapil
33. Casey Mears
34. Landon Cassill
35. Dave Blaney
36. Joe Nemechek
37. Carl Edwards
38. Jeff Gordon
39. Josh Wise
40. Bobby Labonte
41. Timmy Hill
42. David Ragan
43. Michael McDowell

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