Johnson Wins Second Straight

LOUDON, N.H. — For the second consecutive week Jimmie Johnson stood in victory lane after winning a Cup race. He won June 20 at Infineon Raceway, and on Sunday he passed Kurt Busch with two laps to go in the Lenox Tools 301 at New Hampshire for his 52nd career Cup win.

“It was a situation near the end as to whether we should stay out or come in for tires,” said Johnson. “Jeff (Burton) decided to stay out, so our decision was to pit. And as it turned out, it was the right call.”

Jimmie Johnson made his second straight trip to victory lane with a win in Sunday’s Lenox Tools 301 at New Hampshire Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson made his second straight trip to victory lane with a win in Sunday’s Lenox Tools 301 at New Hampshire Speedway.
Polesitter Juan Montoya had brought out a caution on lap 291 of the 301-lap race after contact with Reed Sorenson.

The leader, Jeff Burton, opted to remain on the track while most of the cars on the lead lap behind him pitted.

On the restart, Johnson was lined up under Burton. As soon as the green flag was given, Johnson took the lead away from Burton. One lap later, Kurt Busch bumped the rear of Johnson’s No. 48, causing him to lose grip and slide up the track.

Busch was the new leader. But with three laps to go Johnson had caught Busch No. 2. As the two cars went into turn four, Johnson put a love tap on Busch’s rear bumper. Busch slipped up the track, and Johnson was gone, on to victory lane.

“I certainly was going to pay him (Kurt Busch) back,” said Johnson. “I had no intention of letting the race end without me getting him back. That’s not my style of driving, but I knew I had to do it today.”

Tony Stewart edged Kurt Busch for second.

“I’m proud of these guys,” said Stewart. “We started near the back and worked our way to the front. We came up short a couple runs on fuel, but we finally got in position to make a run for the win.”

Kurt Busch had to settle for third.

“We didn’t have a winning car, but we almost won today,” said Busch. “Sometimes you do the best with what you’ve got and that’s what we did today.”

Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, and A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top-10 finishers.

Kasey Kahne dominated the early and middle stages of the race, but the engine in his No. 9 Budweiser Ford let go and he wound up 36th.

Top 20 Chase contenders after 17 of 36: 1. Harvick-2,489, 2. Johnson-2,384, 3. Kyle Busch-2,328, 4. Hamlin-2,304, 5. J. Gordon-2,302, 6. Kurt Busch-2,288, 7. Kenseth-2,204, 8. Burton-2,159, 9. Stewart-2,158, 10. Biffle-2,126, 11. Martin-2,047, 12. Edwards-2,020, 13. Earnhardt Jr.-2,017, 14. Newman-2,005, 15. Bowyer-2,004, 16. Logano-1,921, 17. McMurray-1,899, 18. Truex-1,872, 19. Reutimann-1,870, 20. Kahne-1,846.


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