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Johnson Boss Of Pepsi 500

Sprint Cup
Monday, September 01, 2008

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Jimmie Johnson dominated at Fontana - pretty much making it a snoozefest race
Forget the rivalry between Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards.

In Sunday’s Pepsi 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway, there was only one car that counted, the No. 48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson led 228 of 250 laps and held off a late-race challenge from Greg Biffle, who lost ground when the water temperature in his No. 16 Ford skyrocketed to 260 degrees when a paper wrapper stuck to his grille after a restart on Lap 223.

As the laps wound down, Biffle told his team, “Doing all I can, man. I can't catch him. He’s beating me too bad in (Turns) 3 and 4.”

Johnson beat Biffle to the finish line by 2.076 seconds. Denny Hamlin ran third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth.

In winning his third race of the season and the 36th of his career -- breaking a tie with Mark Martin for 17th on the all-time victory list -- Johnson also shattered Biffle’s record of 168 laps led at Fontana, set in 2006.

Johnson also qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with one race to go – Saturday at Richmond – before the 12-driver field is set. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton also clinched spots. Busch and Edwards already had clinched spots.

Johnson’s dominance forced other teams to gamble in the pits. Biffle, Edwards, AJ Allmendinger, Brian Vickers and Ryan Newman took two tires on Lap 163 and held the top five positions for a restart on Lap 166.

Less than two laps after the restart, however, Johnson had regained the lead after passing Biffle through Turns 3 and 4.

Two tires didn’t work, but neither did four.

After a slower-than-usual pit stop on Lap 183 -- under caution for Robby Gordon’s spin off Turn 4 -- Johnson restarted fourth on Lap 186. Within three laps he had run down David Reutimann, Edwards and Biffle to regain the top spot.

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Jimmie Johnson Foundation 195/10 250 Running
2 15 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 175/5 250 Running
3 21 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 165/0 250 Running
4 33 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 160/0 250 Running
5 37 17 Matt Kenseth Ford R+L Carriers 160/5 250 Running
6 26 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 150/0 250 Running
7 11 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 146/0 250 Running
8 4 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 142/0 250 Running
9 12 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS Store / Toys for Tots Literacy Program 143/5 250 Running
10 31 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 134/0 250 Running
11 18 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 130/0 250 Running
12 19 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 127/0 250 Running
13 22 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 129/5 250 Running
14 2 84 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota Red Bull 126/5 250 Running
15 3 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Pepsi / DuPont 123/5 250 Running
16 17 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Kodak 115/0 250 Running
17 27 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 117/5 250 Running
18 5 10 Patrick Carpentier * Dodge Sears Auto Center / Valvoline 109/0 250 Running
19 7 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 106/0 250 Running
20 23 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Texaco / Havoline 103/0 250 Running
21 24 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 100/0 250 Running
22 14 20 Tony Stewart Toyota Subway / Home Depot 97/0 250 Running
23 42 38 David Gilliland Ford CitiFinancial 94/0 248 Running
24 13 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 91/0 248 Running
25 39 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 88/0 248 Running
26 16 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Cheez-It / CARQUEST 85/0 248 Running
27 41 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 82/0 248 Running
28 34 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Hitachi "Inspire the Next" 79/0 248 Running
29 32 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Penske Truck Rental 76/0 248 Running
30 8 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 73/0 248 Running
31 10 8 Aric Almirola Chevrolet U.S. Army 70/0 248 Running
32 40 21 Marcos Ambrose Ford Little Debbie 67/0 248 Running
33 30 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 69/5 248 Running
34 6 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge McDonald's 61/0 248 Running
35 35 00 Mike Skinner Toyota Affliction "Day of Reckoning" 58/0 248 Running
36 25 01 Regan Smith * Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 55/0 248 Running
37 29 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Johns Manville / Menards 52/0 248 Running
38 38 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Wells Fargo 49/0 248 Running
39 9 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 46/0 247 Running
40 36 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Monster Energy 43/0 247 Running
41 28 96 Ken Schrader Toyota DLP HDTV 40/0 246 Running
42 43 08 Johnny Sauter Dodge FUBAR All Natural Drink 37/0 161 In Pit
43 20 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row/ DenverMattress.com 34/0 67 In

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