=== Johnson widens points lead over Keselowski with Texas win ===
Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Jimmie Johnson moved closer to claiming his
sixth Sprint Cup Series championship by winning Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at
Texas Motor Speedway and increasing his points lead to seven over Brad
Johnson, the pole sitter, grabbed the lead from Keselowski with less than two
laps remaining and then held off Keselowski at the finish by 0.8 seconds for
his second consecutive win. He led the most laps with 168, which allowed him
to collect a total of five bonus points.
Last week, Johnson scored the victory at Martinsville Speedway after starting
on the pole and leading the most laps, which earned him five bonus points as
well. He entered the 500-mile race at Texas with a two-point advantage over
Just two races remain in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship -- Phoenix
(Nov. 11) and Homestead (Nov. 18).
"It was an awesome race," Johnson said. "It's a great way to put it. The
gloves are off, and it's bare knuckle fighting."
Johnson dominated early in the race by leading 164 of the first 190 laps. Kyle
Busch and Keselowski took command from there, swapping the lead several times.
Keselowski gambled with a two-tire change only during the final round of pit
stops under caution with 22 laps to go. He inherited the lead and then held
off Johnson in a pair of restarts. Johnson took four new tires during his last
An accident involving Mark Martin on the frontstretch in the closing laps set
up a green-white-checkered finish. After the last restart, Johnson pulled even
with Keselowski and then made his winning pass on the backstretch.
"I have a lot of respect for (Keselowski's) No. 2 team," Johnson said. "Those
guys are doing a great job. Today, I think our cars were pretty equal
throughout the course of the race, but at the end of the race, we were on four
(tires) and had to take advantage of it."
Johnson won his fifth race of the season and the 60th of his Sprint Cup
career. The Hendrick Motorsports driver also notched his record-extending 22nd
victory in the Chase. Johnson gave Chevrolet its 700th win in NASCAR's premier
series as well.
Keselowski, who started eighth, had a pit-road mishap in the late going. The
Penske Racing driver held the lead when a caution came on lap 275 for debris.
He overshot his pit stall during his stop and had to back up to get out. It
dropped him to ninth. His second-place run marked his best Sprint Cup finish
"Obviously, there was a pretty good fight there, and Jimmie had some good
speed, so did Kyle," Keselowski said. "We had a run there where we got out
front and had a shot at it. The yellow come out, and then I had the issue on
pit road. I just got into the brakes and couldn't get it slowed down like I
needed to and put myself in a bad position where the 10 (Danica Patrick)
blocked me in. It was probably my fault. From there, it was just a dogfight to
get some track position back."
Busch finished third, followed by Chase drivers Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart,
Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle
completed the top-10.
During pre-race activities, the left-side door panel of Harvick's Chevrolet
sustained damage when a parachute jumper's trailing weight hit the car on pit
road while the jumper was landing. NASCAR allowed Harvick's No. 29 Richard
Childress Racing team to take the car back to the garage to make necessary
Heading into the penultimate race next weekend in Phoenix, Johnson and
Keselowski appeared to be the only legitimate contenders for the championship.
Bowyer's sixth-place finish put him 36 points out of the lead, while Kasey
Kahne fell 58 points behind following his 25th-place run. Kahne blew a tire
and then made contact with the wall late in the race, which put him one lap
11/04 20:55:18 ET