wins Sharp Aquos 500 to secure spot in the Chase
Jimmie Johnson won the Sharp
Aquos 500 on Sunday to ensure a spot in the 12-man Chase to
defend his NASCAR Nextel Cup championship.
Johnson must have been worried recently, after a season full of
accidents and plain bad luck, but on Sunday the Hendrick
Motorsports driver won the California Speedway and ensured a
spot in the Chase. It was Johnson's fifth win this season and
28th in his career. "I was certainly concerned. We had great
race cars and bad luck. If you get four or five bad races in a
row, you can get behind. Historically, we start the season
strong, have a little bit of a struggle when we get to the warm
weather and then get it going again. It seems like that's the
way it's going and I'm just glad to be back in Victory Circle,"
Johnson said after winning the Sharp Aquos 500, 14 events after
his fourth win of the season.
Jimmie Johnson is now one of the eight
drivers who had secured a place in the Chase with one race left,
among which are his Hendrick teammates Jeff Gordon and Kyle
Busch, who Johnson views as his major competitors. "Rick [Hendrick]
has three cars capable of winning the championship, with Kyle
and Jeff and me. When I first think of the fight for the
championship, I think of my teammates. There are a lot of great
cars out there, but I think the three of us are going to be
tough," Johnson said.
Jimmie Johnson clearly dominated the
second half of the Sharp Aquos 500 race on Sunday to take the
victory. A very important win, as NASCAR gives 10 bonus points
to the winner of each race this season for the seeding of the 12
drivers who will compete in the Chase. After the California
victory, Johnson is currently top seed, with 10 points ahead of
the leader Jeff Gordon, who has four wins this season.
Published on 09/03/2007