Ft. Worth - Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Monte Carlo SS, came to Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) with two goals - to capture his career-first victory at the track and take the lead in the Chase for the Nextel Cup standings. He accomplished...
Ft. Worth - Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Monte Carlo SS, came to Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) with two goals - to capture his career-first victory at the track and take the lead in the Chase for the Nextel Cup standings. He accomplished both in the Dickies 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) race with a dramatic late-race, side-by-side battle with Matt Kenseth to claim in his ninth win of the 2007 season.
Johnson's victory was the 25th win of the season for Chevrolet, tying the all-time record set for the Bowtie Brand back in 1958.
"This has been an incredible and exciting year for Chevrolet in NASCAR Nextel Cup competition," said Alba Colon, NNCS program manager for GM Racing. "To score 25 wins in one season is a mark that we at GM Racing and Chevrolet could only have hoped to achieve.
"We are proud of each of our teams and drivers for their efforts this season to achieve this monumental feat. Competition in the NNCS is at an all-time high and we know the bar will continue to rise.
"Hendrick Motorsports is having an awesome year with 17 wins to date. Congratulations to Jimmie, Chad and everyone associated with the No. 48 team for their victory at Texas, and for the nine wins they have scored so far this season."
Johnson's win was his ninth of the season, third consecutive victory and 32nd of his NNCS career. In addition to the wins, he has an amazing 2007 record of three poles, 19 top-five and 22 top-10s finishes.
Johnson now sits atop the standings with two races remaining in the season holding a 30-point advantage over his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, who battled to finish seventh in the Dickies 500.
"This is amazing," said Johnson from TMS victory lane. "Wow what a car race car. We didn't have a great race car at the start of the race. We just kept working away at it and working at it until we got what we needed there at the end. Chad's (Knaus, crew chief) four-tire call really worked out well for us.
"I was really disappointed that Matt (Kenseth) was able to hang on so long with two tires. But we were able to battle him for the win and put on a hell of a show for the fans, just great hard racing. When I got close to him the first time and he pulled out ahead of me, I knew I had to drop back and regroup and start again, a get momentum because he had the advantage on the bottom. He let me go and drop back behind him, then got a run on him and got him cleared off of (turn) two.
"I don't want this groove we are in right now to go anywhere. So hopefully we can keep things together and be the champion again this year. Regardless of what happens, Hendrick Motorsports is such a great organization and has given us this opportunity. There are two races to go, 30 points can come and go pretty easily. Not a big margin by any means but better than being second."
Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Monte Carlo SS, started the race from the pole, his career-first and took the checkered flag in third place. The Dale Earnhardt, Inc. driver is 12th in the standings, 524 points down to Johnson.
Kyle Busch's fourth place finish in the No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Monte Carlo SS moved him to fourth in the standings.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Monte Carlo SS, was the highest finisher of he three Richard Childress Racing drivers, crossing the finish line in sixth place. Burton moved up to seventh in the standings, 431 points down to the leader.
Kevin Harvick, No 29 Shell-Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS, finished 10th to score his 14th top-10 of the season. He is eighth in the standings in a tight battle with Burton for the coveted points positions.
Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS, finished 11th and dropped to sixth in the Chase standings.
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Monte Carlo SS, finished a disappointing 19th after being forced to pit under green for a loose wheel. Bowyer remains third in the standings but now is 181 points down to the leader.
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Kinko's Monte Carlo SS, finished 29th and dropped to 11th in the standings with two races remaining in the season."
-credit: gm racing