Jimmie Johnson dominates at Texas for AAA 500 win

jutter@charlotteobserver.comNovember 3, 2013 

— Another item knocked off the 2013 bucket list for Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson entered Sunday's AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway having yet to win on a 1.5-mile speedway this season - the most common type of track on the Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Problem resolved.

Johnson dominated Sunday's race from start to finish, led 255 of the 334 laps, and cruised to his sixth win of the season and took a slight lead in the series standings on his way to a sixth career series championship.

With two races left this season, Johnson holds a seven-point advantage over Matt Kenseth. Kevin Harvick is third, 40 points behind Johnson.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second in the race, Joey Logano was third, Kenseth fourth and Kasey Kahne fifth.

Johnson took early control of the race, leading 35 of the first 74 laps.

Jeff Gordon slammed the wall on Lap 74 to bring out the third caution of the race. Gordon, who had a tire go down, was forced to the garage for extensive repairs. On the restart on Lap 80, Brad Keselowski took over the race lead followed by Carl Edwards and Johnson.

Johnson made his way back into the lead on Lap 92.

After 100 laps, Johnson remained out front followed by Keselowski and Kenseth.

Teams began a round of green-flag pit stops on Lap 122. When the cycle was completed on Lap 127, Johnson was the leader followed by Keselowski and Logano.

Johnson maintained a sizable lead until teams had to make another green-flag stop on Lap 161. Once that cycle was completed, Johnson was still the leader followed by Kyle Busch and Earnhardt.

During the green-flag stops, Kenseth was penalized by NASCAR for speeding on pit road and was forced to serve a pass-thru penalty. After serving the penalty, Kenseth was 16th and the last car on the lead lap.

On Lap 188, Edwards developed a problem and was forced to take his No. 99 Ford to the garage - the second Chase driver to have their race end early.

Oil from Edwards' engine brought out a caution and after a round of pit stops, Johnson continued to lead the way on the restart on Lap 194 followed by Kyle Busch and Logano. Kenseth restarted in 13th.

Another round of green-flag stops started on Lap 238. Johnson had a slow stop and when the cycle was completed on Lap 245, Keselowski was back in the lead followed by Kyle Busch, Earnhardt and Johnson.

Debris from Juan Pablo Montoya's blown tire brought out the fifth caution of the race on Lap 256. On the restart on Lap 263, Johnson was again in the lead followed by Kyle Busch and Logano.

A final round of green-flag pit stops began on Lap 294. Once the cycle was completed on Lap 303, Johnson remained out front followed by Earnhardt, Logano and Kenseth.

During the round of stops, Kyle Busch was penalized by NASCAR for speeding on pit road. Once he served his penalty he was moved back to 15th in the running order.

With 10 laps left, Johnson continued to hold a more than four second lead over Earnhardt.

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