News & Multimedia

Johnson Gets Third Win of the Season at Michigan

At long last, Jimmie Johnson knows what it feels like to visit victory lane at Michigan International Speedway.

The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion took the lead for good on Lap 191 after a cycle of pit stops and cruised to the checkered flag at Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 to end a 24-race drought here.

"We’ve figured out every way to lose this race and today we were able to get it done," he said after getting out of his No. 48 Chevy.

Johnson had encountered heartbreak several times when leading late here and admitted he was nervous as he dashed through the final few laps.

"About 200 yards before the finish line I knew if the car exploded I’d still make it across the line," he said with a chuckle, "so that’s when I finally relaxed."

Johnson pitted on Lap 165 and took on four tires and enough fuel to finish the race, which was green the rest of the way. Anyone close to him pitted later and left Johnson comfortably ahead as Hendrick Motorsports captured its fifth straight Sprint Cup series race.

"We were really in a win-win situation," said Johnson, who led 39 laps and jumped to second in the Sprint Cup points standings behind Gordon. "Those guys had to come to pit road to make it to the end.

"Once the strategy unfolded, we knew we were in the catbird’s seat."

Crew chief Chad Knaus said the team had an extra ace in the hole.

"We knew there was going to be some opportunities to play some strategy today," he said. "We were fortunate to have a fast racecar and hit the strategy correct."

The car was the same the team used to win Johnson’s first race of the season at Charlotte.

Pole sitter Kevin Harvick, who led a race-best 63 laps, was second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne.

Johnson’s win capped a stellar day for HMS, which saw all four Chevys in the top seven thanks to Kahne and Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who were sixth and seventh.

Johnson became the series’ first three-time winner and picked up his 69th career Sprint Cup victory. He’s finished first in three of the series’ last four races and jumped to from fourth to second in the series points standings, 15 points behind Gordon.

Harvick was especially fast on restarts during the first 150 laps of the race but got caught in a series of green-flag stops that dropped him to second. He did little to hide his frustration.

"The car was fast, just wound up on the wrong side of the strategy," he said.

Harvick had the fastest car on the track for most of practice and set a new track record to earn the pole.

The pit strategy chess game forced several other contenders farther back in the field, including Joey Logano, who led the field for 15 laps before being passed by Harvick on Lap 141.

The race wasn’t quite a lap old when Brian Vickers brushed the Turn 4 wall, then spun before collecting Travis Kvapil near the entrance to pit lane. Rookie Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. brought out another caution on Lap 6 when they made contact near Turn 2.

Casey Mears and Brett Moffitt tangled in Turn 4 on Lap 115 and Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin spun in the same place on Lap 122 to bring out another caution. The race was yellow-flagged eight times for 36 laps.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Johnson Gets Third Win of the Season at Michigan
 
Johnson Gets Third Win of the Season at Michigan
The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion took the lead for good on Lap 191 after a cycle of pit stops and cruised to the checkered flag at Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 to end a 24-race drought here.
Read More
Related Media
Kyle Busch
 
Busch, Toyotas Fill Top of Brickyard Grid as Dominant Run Continues
No other car manufacturer had celebrated a Brickyard 400 victory since Bill Elliott’s Dodge prevailed in 2002. Then all of that changed dramatically last year.
Read More
Kyle Busch
 
Kyle Busch Dominates in Repeat Lilly Diabetes 250 Win
The driver of the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota repeated as a winner from the pole and won for the third time overall in XFINITY Series racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He has led laps in all five races at IMS and led 62 of 63 laps on Saturday in a race that ended with a green-white-checkered finish.
Read More
Kyle Busch
 
Kyle Busch to Defend Title From the Pole on Sunday
Kyle Busch, last year’s winner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will start from the pole for his title defense on Sunday at the Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Warriors 400 at the Brickyard.
Read More
Cassadee Pope
 
Chart-Topping Country Star Cassadee Pope to Sing National Anthem at the Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard
ward-winning country music artist Cassadee Pope will sing the national anthem at Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard.
Read More
Jimmie Johnson
 
Brickyard Hopefully The Elixir for Struggling Hendrick Motorsports
That’s what happens when an entire four-car team synonymous with NASCAR success sputters in an improbable slump. Owner Rick Hendrick’s four cars have failed to finish in the top 10 in the past three races entering Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 696
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
@brian_wiggins We can't wait to welcome you home! #Brickyard400
about 8 hours ago