Jimmie Johnson led 255 of the races 334 laps on Sunday to win the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. It's Johnson's sixth win of the season and the 66th of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. Johnson had the dominate car all weekend and he beat teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr by over four seconds. It wasn't easy for Johnson as a pit road issue put Johnson behind the eight ball but he battled back in dominate fashion. Johnson talked about the championship battle with Kenseth.
"Just a dominate day for this Lowe's team," Johnson said in victory lane. "This thing is going to come down to the last lap at Homestead."
Earnhardt finished second for the third time in the Chase with Joey Logano finishing third and Matt Kenseth in fourth. Kenseth made a mistake on lap 173 when he sped exiting pit road. Kenseth had to do a pass through penalty under green and found himself in the sixteenth position. Kenseth battled back but just couldn't get all the way to the lead. Kasey Kahne finished fifth with Brad Keselowski finishing sixth, Denny Hamlin seventh, Kevin Harvick eighth, Ryan Newman ninth and Clint Bowyer finished tenth.
Carl Edwards led the field to green with Brad Keselowski on the high side. Edwards got off to a fast start and Jimmie Johnson followed Edwards. Johnson was second and took his first lead of the day on lap 10. He led until the lap 15 caution that was thrown for debris on the front stretch. The leaders would pit as tires were a concern early in the race. Carl Edwards team got him out first and he led the field on the restart on lap 19. Edwards was out in front early in the run and led until lap 34 when Johnson chased Edwards down and made the pass for the lead on lap 35. Johnson led by two seconds on lap 44. Johnson was leading when the races' second caution of the day flew when Kyle Busch smacked the wall hard on lap 57.
Busch was running in the second position when the accident occurred. He would continue on the lead lap after his crew made repairs to the right side of his car. He would battle back into contention but faded late and ended up in the 13th position. The leaders would pit on lap 59 and Carl Edwards team got him out in the first position again and he led the field to green on lap 65. Johnson got the second position on lap 65 after losing second to Dale Earnhardt Jr early in the run. Johnson then set his sights on Edwards and on lap 71 he took the lead again passing Edwards. On lap 74 the races' third caution would fly when Jeff Gordon crashed in turn three. Gordon cut his left front tire which put him into the wall. He had significant damage on his Chevrolet but the team would make extensive repairs and he continued after a long stay in the garage. Gordon finished 38th and he saw his chance at a fifth championship all but go away.
The leaders would pit again on lap 76 and Brad Keselowski would take two tires and lead the field to green on lap 80. Keselowski fought Carl Edwards and pulled away from Edwards. On lap 83 David Ragan's engine would blow ending his day. Ragan finished 42nd. Edwards would drop back as he lost the second position to Jimmie Johnson on lap 86. By lap 91 Johnson got to the leader and passed the defending series champion on lap 92. Johnson's lead was over three seconds on lap 101 as Matt Kenseth moved to the second position. Johnson led until green flag pit stops began on lap 121. Johnson would pit on lap 125 and Kenseth got to the lead. Kenseth would pit and when pit stops would cycle around Johnson found himself in the lead again. The green flag racing continued and Johnson stretched his lead and set a blistering pace. He would lap up to the 15th place driver and by lap 162 when green flag pit stops began Johnson's lead was over five seconds.
Kyle Busch started green flag stops on lap 163 and on lap 173 Matt Kenseth stopped and it looked like a usual pit stop. However that's when Kenseth sped on the exit of pit road. Kenseth found himself in the 16th position after the penalty and had to battle back. Kenseth would catch a break on lap 187 when the race was slowed for the fourth time when there was oil on the racetrack. Pole sitter Carl Edwards blew up leaving oil over the track and causing the yellow. Edwards finished 37th.
Johnson's team would get him off pit road first and he would lead on the lap 194 restart. The race's longest stretch of green flag racing would occur and Johnson kept a blistering pace. He would lead until lap 239 when he would pit for a scheduled green flag pit stop. Johnson's team had a slow 17 second pit stop and he found himself in the sixth position when the stops cycled around. Johnson would battle back and took the lead on lap 256 and the caution would come out for debris for the fifth time on lap 257. Johnson's pit crew redeemed themselves and he led on the lap 263 restart. Johnson led for the next 40 laps and he would pit on lap 300 for the final time. His team had a flawless pit stop and when stops cycled around Johnson found himself in front and he won his sixth race of the 2013 season beating Dale Earnhardt Jr by 4.39 seconds.
Other notables in the field included Mark Martin in 11th, Greg Biffle in 12th, and Martin Truex Jr was the last lead lap car in 14th. Kurt Busch in 17th and Parker Kligerman made a successful Sprint Cup Series debut in for Swan Racing by finishing in 18th. Austin Dillon was 22nd and Kyle Larson had his best Sprint Cup finish in 23rd. Danica Patrick finished in 25th.
Jimmie Johnson, who was in a points tie, stretched his points lead over Matt Kenseth to seven points as the team heads into the Phoenix International Raceway. Kevin Harvick is third in the standings 40 points back with Kyle Busch in fourth 52 points back and Dale Earnhardt Jr is fifth in the standings 62 points behind. Jeff Gordon is sixth in the standings with Clint Bowyer seventh, Greg Biffle eighth, Joey Logano ninth and Kurt Busch is tenth. Carl Edwards sits 11th in the standings with Ryan Newman 12th and Kasey Kahne in 13th.
The next race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule is the AdvoCare 500k at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 10th.
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- Jimmie Johnson Wins for a Record Eighth Time at Dover International Speedway
- Jimmie Johnson Wins Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway
- Carl Edwards Wins Pole for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway
- Jimmie Johnson Wins Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway
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