FORT WORTH, Texas – Jimmie Johnson is the leader again in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship after a dominating victory Sunday in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The five-time Cup champion realizes his seven-point lead over Matt Kenseth is far from overwhelming with two events left in the 10-race Chase.
Johnson also left the Lone Star State last November with a victory and a seven-point lead — and wound up losing the championship to Brad Keselowski.
“I hope history doesn’t repeat itself,” Johnson said. “That is the perfect example of this thing isn’t over until it’s over. Last year, we had eight great races and two bad ones and didn’t get the championship.”
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Johnson, driving the No. 48 Chevrolet, led 255 of 334 laps for his sixth victory this season. He finished 4.39 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Joey Logano finished third, Kenseth was fourth and Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw was fifth. Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., finished 12th of 43.
Kenseth, who got a pit-road speeding penalty, said, “I’m still confident.”
Johnson posted his 66th career victory at NASCAR’s top level, including a record 24 in Chase races.
Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon finished 38th and dropped from third to sixth in the standings. On Lap 74, the front left tire on the No. 24 Chevrolet blew, sending Gordon into a wall.
• Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to extend his winning streak to seven races — matching Michael Schumacher’s F1 record set in 2004. Red Bull driver Vettel, who is from Germany, has won 11 times this season.