Johnson wins in New Hampshire
LOUDON, N.H. (AP) -- Jimmie Johnson is back in championship form. He surged past Kurt Busch with two laps left to win the Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Busch grabbed the lead Sunday with about seven laps left when he nudged Joh...
LOUDON, N.H. (AP) -- Jimmie Johnson is back in championship form.
He surged past Kurt Busch with two laps left to win the Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Busch grabbed the lead Sunday with about seven laps left when he nudged Johnson out of the way. Johnson and Busch quickly got side-by-side to energize what had been a lackluster race.
The four-time defending champion pulled away to win his second straight race after taking the checkered flag last week on the road course at Infineon Raceway.
Johnson dedicated the win to his pregnant wife, Chandra, who is at home and due with their first child.
"Hopefully you didn't go into labor with this victory," he said to his wife. "Wait for me, I want to be a part of this."
Tony Stewart finished second and Busch was third. Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.
Johnson put a little bump on Busch to move him up the track, allowing the No. 48 to slip underneath and win for the fifth time this season.
"I'm not good at doing that stuff," Johnson said. "Usually I crash myself in the process. So I tried it once and moved him. The second time I moved him out of the way and got by him."
The 318-mile race was almost absent of cautions until the very end, with 201 straight laps of green flag racing. Kasey Kahne drove up front for most of the race until engine problems knocked him out. Pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya also was in contention until he was knocked out late by a lapped car.
Jeff Burton was a serious threat to win for the first time in two years until he made the decision not to pit with 17 laps left. He was the only lead lap driver not to pit and it cost him when he spun into Kyle Busch and took them both out of contention.
Kurt Busch knew his car wasn't strong enough to win and just hoped that late-race tap was enough to hold off Johnson.
"We did what we could to get the lead," he said. "I was just counting the laps and was like, man, there's not enough laps. The thought was those 10 points for winning would look a lot better stacked in our deck than in his chip count."
Johnson has totally silenced the doubts that he was in a slump or appeared vulnerable during a five-race stretch from April to May. He has two straight wins for the second time this season and four straight top-six finishes.
Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano and A.J. Allmendinger completed the top 10.