Jimmie Johnson Collects 70th Career Win In AAA Texas 500

Jimmie Johnson Collects 70th Career Win In AAA Texas 500

by November 2, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway

FORT WORTH, Tex. – Jimmie Johnson became the all-time win leader at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday night after he won the AAA Texas 500.

The victory was the fourth win and 17th top-10 at the speedway for Johnson. Heading into the weekend, he was tied with Carl Edwards for most wins at the track. Johnson led 191 laps, most of any driver on Sunday night en route to his 70th career win.

“We wanted to close out the year by having fun, and winning races helps you do that,” Johnson said. “But I have to give a lot of credit to our test session in Homestead earlier this week. We went down there and Chad and the guys started making me happy. I guess I’ve been unhappy for a while. These guys put some great speed in the race car, got me really comfortable with the car. We were able to bring a lot of that here and get the car off the truck right away, it was quick, qualified third, and then dominated tonight and won the race.”

The first Eliminator Round driver to have issues on Sunday night was Joey Logano. After having lug nut issues, the caution came out on lap 305 when Logano had a flat tire and spun on the apron in turn two. The tire became flat after contact with Marcos Ambrose. Logano was able to salvage a 12th place finish. Logano leaves Texas tied for the point lead with Denny Hamlin, just 12 points ahead of the final fourth place transfer spot into the Championship Round.

“We lost all our track position with 30 to go and I came off the corner and the 9 (Marcos Ambrose) hit me and popped my right rear and then we spun out,” Logano said. “We put tires back on it and then just held on til the end and got something decent out of something that could have been way worse. I am proud of everyone that kept their heads down and kept digging. That isn’t the way we wanted to do it, that is for sure.”

Kasey Kahne, not contending for the championship had a terrible night at Texas Motor Speedway. On lap 315, the caution came out when he got together with Marcos Ambrose exiting turn four. Kahne slid through the frontstretch grass. The caution came out soon after on lap 321 when he and Trevor Bayne collided on the backstretch. Kahne was sent hard into the outside wall, ending his night and resulting in a 38th place finish.

The next two Eliminator Round drivers to encounter trouble were Matt Kenseth and Ryan Neweman. On the lap 317 restart, the two drivers were pinched in-between Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch in a four-wide situation going through the tri-oval. Kenseth and Newman rubbed tires and were forced to surrender their track position under the next caution as they changed tires. Ryan Newman finished 15th, and Matt Kenseth finished 25th.

“We just got our quarter panel knocked in,” Newman said. “They went three and four wide there and put me in the middle of it. There wasn’t a whole lot of respect out there. We saw that before, during, and after the race. But it was a good fight back for the Caterpillar Chevrolet to be 15th.”

The final caution of the night came out on lap 336 when Jeff Gordon obtained a flat left rear tire after contact with Brad Keselowski. Jeff Gordon on the outside, and Jimmie Johnson on the inside led the field down for the green flag for the first attempt at a green-white-checkered restart. Keselowski saw a hole in-between the two drivers heading into turn one, and that’s when he made contact with Gordon. After the race, Gordon, Keselowski and their crews were involved in a brawl on pit road. Read more here: Eliminator Round Tension Ignites Texas Two-Step Between Keselowski And Gordon

On the final restart, second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski took off and drag raced down the backstretch for the race lead. As they exited turn four, Johnson was able to hold on to the top spot, while Keselowski fell back into the clutches of Kevin Harvick. Through the tri-oval coming to get the white flag, Keselowski tried to shut the door on Harvick, but instead, he almost got turned. Harvick made his way past Keselowski to finish runner-up to Jimmie Johnson.

The final race in the Eliminator Round is on Sunday, November 9 at Phoenix International Raceway. Coverage for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 will begin on ESPN and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 3 p.m. ET.

AAA Texas 500 Results:
1.) #48 Jimmie Johnson
2.) #4 Kevin Harvick
3.) #2 Brad Keselowski
4.) #18 Kyle Busch
5.) #1 Jamie McMurray
6.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7.) #42 Kyle Larson
8.) #41 Kurt Busch
9.) #99 Carl Edwards
10.) #11 Denny Hamlin
11.) #14 Tony Stewart
12.) #22 Joey Logano
13.) #16 Greg Biffle
14.) #47 AJ Allmendinger
15.) #31 Ryan Newman
16.) #55 Brian Vickers
17.) #27 Paul Menard
18.) #13 Casey Mears
19.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.
20.) #51 Justin Allgaier
21.) #3 Austin Dillon
22.) #7 Michael Annett
23.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
24.) #43 Aric Almirola
25.) #20 Matt Kenseth
26.) #26 Cole Whitt
27.) #9 Marcos Ambrose
28.) #15 Clint Bowyer
29.) #24 Jeff Gordon
30.) #95 Michael McDowell
31.) #83 JJ Yeley
32.) #34 David Ragan
33.) #36 Reed Sorenson
34.) #38 David Gilliland
35.) #33 Timmy Hill
36.) #10 Danica Patrick
37.) #32 Joey Gase
38.) #5 Kasey Kahne
39.) #21 Trevor Bayne
40.) #66 Brett Moffitt
41.) #98 Josh Wise
42.) #23 Alex Bowman
43.) #40 Landon Cassill

Eliminator Round Point Standings:
1.) #22 Joey Logano
2.) #11 Denny Hamlin
3.) #31 Ryan Newman -2
4.) #24 Jeff Gordon -12
5.) #20 Matt Kenseth -13
6.) #99 Carl Edwards -13
7.) #2 Brad Keselowski -17
8.) #4 Kevin Harvick -18

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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