Jimmie Johnson Scores Exciting Win With Late Race Pass of Tony Stewart to Give Chevy 34th Victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway Victory Makes it Two-in-a-Row in 2007 for Defending NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion; Team Chevy Drivers Score Six of Top-10 ...
Jimmie Johnson Scores Exciting Win With Late Race Pass of Tony Stewart to Give Chevy 34th Victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Victory Makes it Two-in-a-Row in 2007 for Defending NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion; Team Chevy Drivers Score Six of Top-10 Finishing Position in Kobalt Tools 500
Hampton, GA - Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Monte Carlo SS, scored his second consecutive NASCAR Nextel Cup Series victory with an exciting pass after a dramatic side-by-side battle with Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS. After battling with Stewart for the entire race, Johnson got underneath Stewart to take the lead with less than five laps remaining in the 325-lap/500-mile race.
"We just had a great race car," said Johnson. "We did the right things to get the car hooked up there at the end. I was real good on the long runs but lacked a little on the short runs. But Chad made the right adjustments there. It was just a great day for the Lowe's/Kobalt Monte Carlo. It really was a great race car. We weren't as strong as we needed to be on the short runs. The No. 20 had us, but by the end of the run, we were spot on. I just can't thank these guys enough for all the hard work all day long and coming in to this race."
Johnson led a total of 135 laps during the three-plus hour race while Stewart held the point for 121 laps.
The victory kept Johnson fourth in the standings but he now sits only 28 points down from the leader. Stewart jumped seven positions in the standings, now sitting in sixth, 122 points out of the lead as the series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway next week for the debut of the Impala SS Car of Tomorrow.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Monte Carlo SS, finished fourth to give Team Chevy three of the top-five finishing positions. Matt Kenseth and Juan Pablo Montoya finished third and fifth respectively to complete the top-five finishers.
Clint Bowyer, No.07 DirecTV Hot Pass Monte Carlo SS, had a strong race to take the checkered flag in sixth place.
Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Monte Carlo SS, scored his best finish of the season in eighth place.
Mark Martin, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS, ended his full-time career in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competition with a 10th place finish. Moving to a part-time schedule the remainder of the 2007 season sharing the car with rookie Regan Smith, Martin has scored a top-10 in all four races thus far this season and leads the standings by eight points over Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS.
"It's really cool and kind of a story book to go out leading the points like this," said Martin. "It's the way to do it and I'm just proud of this team to finally get the recognition they deserve. These guys are awesome and I sure wish I had been driving their car a little sooner.
"People might not believe it, but they'll have a hard time finding me next week. This think has really been encompassing. We've worked really hard since January and we've put a lot into this. My team has and I have too. It's been a hard-working stretch and I'm really looking to taking a little break.
After leading for 30 laps and running in the top-five for the much of the race, Gordon rallied back to a 12th place finish today after contact damaged a fender and a penalty for speeding on pit road sent him deep in the field.
Round five of the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series schedule will be at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 25, 2007 for the Food City 500.
-credit: gm racing