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Jimmie Johnson Makes History With Coca-Cola 600 Win

Jimmie Johnson (48) races alongside Kurt Busch (41).  [Everet Kamikawa photo]

 Jimmie Johnson (48) races alongside Kurt Busch (41).  [Everet Kamikawa photo]

For those wondering if Jimmie Johnson would ever win a race this season, the wait is over. Johnson ducked below Matt Kenseth with nine laps to go to earn his 67th career win Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It was Johnson’s fourth win in the Coca-Cola 600 and his seventh Sprint Cup Series points win overall at Charlotte – more than any other driver in speedway history.

The win ended a 13-race winless streak for the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion – a streak that didn’t seem to bother the driver at all, but provided plenty of fodder for the media.

“What are you all going to write about now?” Johnson asked in the media center. “I honestly wasn’t concerned about it. We created this environment for ourselves. For it to be such a big deal after not winning (13) races … I’ll turn it into a compliment.”

A hard-charging Kevin Harvick also overtook Kenseth in the closing laps to finish second, a final result he was still less than pleased about.

“We had a fast car all night and just kind of fumbled again on pit road,” Harvick said. “We got behind and got a lap down and needed a 700-mile race to get back up front.”

After taking the lead from Jeff Gordon on the race’s final restart with 17 to go, Kenseth shuffled back to finish third in NASCAR’s longest race.

“We got a good restart and got out front; unfortunately I had no speed to hang on in front of Jimmie (Johnson) and Kevin (Harvick) and hang on to win,” Kenseth said. “Overall for the weekend I thought it was a step in the right direction. I thought we were more competitive tonight. I didn’t think we were quick enough to win unless everything fell exactly our way, but overall it was a step in the right direction.”

Kurt Busch’s attempt to run both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 ended with a blown motor on lap 230.

“My heart is broken a little,” Busch said. “I was hoping to do 1,100 miles today. I can’t let what happened here dampen what happened up in Indianapolis. Today is a memory I’ll have forever. It was a challenge put forth for myself. I’d love to do it again.”

Coca-Cola 600 (Top 10)
Sunday, May 25
Concord, NC
1 Jimmie Johnson (48)
2 Kevin Harvick (4)
3 Matt Kenseth (20)
4 Carl Edwards (99)
5 Jamie McMurray (1)
6 Brian Vickers (55)
7 Jeff Gordon (24)
8 Paul Menard (27)
9 Kyle Busch (18)
10 Brad Keselowski (2)

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