Winner: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the ...
Winner: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports
Top-five finishers: Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Race recap: Jimmie Johnson fought off teammate Jeff Gordon for the final 53 laps to win the Nextel Cup race on Sunday. Gordon tried mightily to get past Johnson, eventually coming up 0.065 seconds and a bumper short at the checkered flag. Johnson averaged 70.70.258 mph on the circuit's shortest and oldest track.
For a while, it looked as if Dale Earnhardt Jr. would get this victory. "Junior" led the most laps on the day with 137 of 500 and was leading when rain halted the event with 143 laps to go. Johnson decided to pit after the 32-minute red-flag delay ended, setting him up for a run to the finish. When Earnhardt Jr. pitted 17 laps later, he gave up the lead and that set up the Johnson/Gordon battle.
In all, there were 14 lead changes among nine drivers and 13 caution flags for a total of 93 laps during the second outing of NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow.
Despite his second-place finish, Gordon held onto the top spot in the championship standings. He now leads Jeff Burton by 28 points after six races. Johnson is now in third place overall, 60 points behind Gordon.
The Nextel Cup Series is off next weekend and returns to action at Texas Motor Speedway on April 15.
Companion event: Mike Skinner led 246 of 253 laps to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville on Saturday. It was Skinner's third straight victory in the series. He also leads the championship standings by 94 points over defending champion Todd Bodine.
-credit: goodyear racing