Texas Motor Speedway post-race notes

Johnson's Texas Magic Gives Him Lead in Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Kevin Harvick Fan Wins $50,000 in Dickies Race for the Riches FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 8, 2006) -- Texas Motor Speedway may well turn out to be the pivotal...

Johnson's Texas Magic Gives Him Lead in Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup

Kevin Harvick Fan Wins $50,000 in Dickies Race for the Riches

FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 8, 2006) -- Texas Motor Speedway may well turn out to be the pivotal race in deciding the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion. With just two races to go, Jimmie Johnson's runner-up performance in Sunday's Dickies 500 has given him the lead in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup battle by 17 points over Matt Kenseth.

"That's great. We just hope we can lead this thing at the end of the year," Johnson said. "That's the goal. Our guys are doing awesome and we've raced our way back into this and that's something I'm very proud of. Regardless of how this turns out, this Lowe's team and Chevrolet have been awfully strong and I'm very proud of these guys."

Johnson used one of his favorite and most productive tracks to make his move in the Chase. In seven starts at Texas Motor Speedway, he has posted six top-10 finishes, including three top fives. His runner-up to Tony Stewart on Sunday is his career best at "The Great American Speedway!"

Johnson has spent plenty of time at Texas this season. In addition to the two Cup races, he participated in the Jimmie Johnson "Hands On" Promotion that featured finalists placing one designated hand on a 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in an endurance contest. The last person standing took home the car which has a retail value of $34,500.

In September, Johnson got a feel for just how much money the Dickies 500, the richest purse in the Chase at just over $7 million, has to offer with his visit to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth, Texas.

The good Texas karma has paid off for Johnson, who now finds himself sitting on top of the Chase field.

"We're just going to keep at it. That's all you can do," Johnson said of his bid to capture his first Cup championship.

In his four full-time seasons in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Johnson has finished runner-up twice and fifth twice.

* CHEVY SWEEPS TEXAS

Tony Stewart's (No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet) win in the Dickies 500 completed a Chevrolet weekend sweep at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time in the speedway's 10-year history. Clint Bowyer (No. 46 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet) started the run with his victory in Friday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 350k. Kevin Harvick (No. 21 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet) kept the Chevy momentum going with his win Saturday in the Busch Series O'Reilly Challenge, and Stewart capped the sweep in Victory Lane on Sunday.

-credit: texasmotorspeedway.com.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Clint Bowyer