Johnson collects first win of 2015 at Atlanta

Jimmie Johnson is now a 71-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Johnson collects first win of 2015 at Atlanta
Car of Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Huge crash in turn three and four
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Jimmie Johnson is victorious at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the fourth time in his career, earning his first win of the 2015 season and all-but securing a Chase berth. He beat out Kevin Harvick, who led the most laps and crossed the stripe 1.8 seconds back of the No. 48.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, and Matt Kenseth filled out the rest of the top five. Martin Truex Jr. and AJ Allmendinger followed, with Brett Moffitt, standing in for Brian Vickers in the MWR-entered No. 55, finishing a career-best eighth. Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman placed ninth and tenth.

Late-race carnage

The race was slowed by a rain delay, ten cautions, and even a red flag with 20 laps remaining. The first big incident took place with just under 70 laps to go. On a restart, Denny Hamlin got loose and spun, collecting Jamie McMurray, Newman, and Jeff Gordon who spun nose-first into a concrete wall, just past the end of the backstretch SAFER Barrier.

The second wreck looked similar to something you'd expect to see at Daytona. As Joe Nemechek and Greg Biffle collided, a number of other cars piled in. Among those involved were Regan Smith, Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer, and Kyle Larson.

Johnson vs. Harvick

The race was the Joey Logano show throughout the first portion of the wet event, that is until Harvick worked his way from the back of the field and into the lead. The rest of race was a tug-of-war between the defending series champion and Jimmie Johnson, who traded the top spot a number of times.

During the final set of pit stops, Kenseth, Bowyer, and rookie Moffitt all stayed out and towards the end, Dale Jr. was able to get alongside his teammate in the No. 48, but was unable to complete the pass.

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