Jimmie Johnson Wins at Atlanta for 76th Career Victory
Credit pit strategy for Jimmie Johnson's Sprint Cup victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday. Johnson came in early for a fresh set of tires, nine laps before leader Kevin Harvick did. When Harvick finally came to the pits Johnson inherited the lead and stretched to as many as 13 and a half seconds at one point over the final 40 laps. Johnson then earned the win on an overtime restart after Ryan Newman spun with 3 laps to go bringing out a yellow flag.
Johnson's 76th career win tied him with Dale Earnhardt in all-time Cup victories. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. came in second, Kyle Busch was third, pole-sitter Kurt Busch finished fourth and Carl Edwards completed the top-5.
Harvick led a race-high 131 of the 330 laps, but spun his tires on the final restart and finished sixth.
Matt Kenseth was hit with a drive thru penalty after a crewman placed a tool on the car during a pit stop. By the time Kenseth got back on the track he was two laps down.
The race went 210 laps before the first caution flag came out, a track record for a Cup event at Atlanta. The race ended under caution after a wreck involving the cars of Aric Almirola, David Ragan, Ryan Blaney and Landon Cassill, only the third caution of the race.
NASCAR heads west for the next three weeks beginning with a stop at Las Vegas next weekend.