Jimmie Johnson Wins His Seventh Cup Championship
Jimmie Johnson accomplished on Sunday what only two other men in NASCAR history were able to do before him. Johnson became the third driver to become a 7-time Sprint Cup champion and how he did it was absolutely amazing.
Johnson was forced to start the Ford Eco-Boost 400 at the back of the field because of an unapproved body modification found in the pre-race inspection. It didn't matter; Johnson drove his way to the front and won for the fifth time this season, his first victory at Miami-Homestead Speedway and the 80th of his career.
Johnson led only three of the race's 368 laps. He shot into the lead on the final restart and nobody could catch him. Kyle Larson led the most laps at 132, but finished second with pole winner Kevin Harvick coming in third followed by Joey Logano and Jamie McMurray.
A violent crash involving nine cars caused a red flag that lasted 31 minutes until the track could be cleaned up. Carl Edwards was one of the drivers involved in the wreck and also one of the four drivers still alive for the championship. His car was so badly damaged it reduce the field still eligible to win the title to three - Johnson, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. Logano's car was damaged in the crash and Busch came to the pits for new tires, a move that put him far back in the pack. So it put Johnson in a great position.
All of Johnson's championships have come with Chad Knaus as his crew chief. Since the introduction of the Chase for the Sprint Cup format, Johnson leads all drivers with 29 victories.