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JOHNSON WINS AAA TEXAS 500

by TMS Website | Nov 04, 2012

FORT WORTH, Texas (November 4, 2012) - Chase contenders Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski went toe to toe until the final lap and Johnson earned the decision by capturing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 in a dramatic green/white-checkered finish at Texas Motor Speedway.

Following an accident by Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota) that brought out a caution on Lap 331 of the 334-lap race, the incident forced a NASCAR-style, two-lap overtime with Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) leading and Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) beside him on the restart.

They battled door to door and Johnson was able to clear Keselowski in Turn 2  en route to a .379 of a second lead after the first overtime lap.  Johnson was able to extend his advantage on the final lap and won by .808 of a second over Keselowski.

The victory allowed Johnson, who led a race-high 168 laps and earned the maximum points (48) in the race, to pad his lead over Keselowski from two to seven points in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Johnson's win was his fifth of the season and second in a row, having won at Martinsville last week. It also was his second victory at Texas Motor Speedway, with his other coming in this fall event in 2007.

It was ironic that after 100 consecutive green-flag laps to open the AAA Texas 500, the difference between Johnson and Keselowski came down to pit stops and caution periods. And both proved to give an edge to Johnson.

During a pit stop following a caution on Lap 276, Keselowski came in as the leader but slid through his pit stall and had to be pushed back. The miscue resulted in Keselowski falling from first to ninth on the restart while Kyle Busch (No. 18 Snickers Toyota) came out as the leader and Johnson second.

Keselowski battled through the field to move to fourth when another caution flew on Lap 311 and the team gambled on a two-tire stop to gain track position while the leaders took four. He came out first but it also was critical for Johnson on the fuel side of the equation as it appeared doubtful he would have been able to make it to the end.

Yet another caution flew on Lap 322 for debris on the track that was a prelude to the dramatic finish. With eight to go, Keselowski and Johnson restarted side by side and were banging to gain the lead. The contact had both cars on edge and neither would concede until Johnson slid high near the Turn 3 wall and had to back off. Keselowski gained the edge and took command of the lead, but the final caution set up the overtime showdown with Johnson emerging victorious. The victory was the 700th for Chevrolet.

The runner-up finish by Keselowski was a career-best performance at Texas Motor Speedway, easily topping his previous best of 14th in nine career starts. Busch finished third while Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Ford EcoBoost Ford) and Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet), respectively, rounded out the top five.

Fin Str Car Driver Lap Pts
1 1 48 Jimmie Johnson 335 48
2 8 2 Brad Keselowski 335 43
3 3 18 Kyle Busch 335 42
4 10 17 Matt Kenseth 335 41
5 21 14 Tony Stewart 335 39
6 4 15 Clint Bowyer 335 38
7 19 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 335 37
8 18 78 Kurt Busch 335 36
9 23 29 Kevin Harvick 335 35
10 2 16 Greg Biffle 335 34
11 6 20 Joey Logano 335 33
12 36 39 Ryan Newman 335 33
13 5 56 Martin Truex Jr. 335 31
14 16 24 Jeff Gordon 335 30
15 14 43 Aric Alrmirola 335 29
16 9 99 Carl Edwards 335 28
17 17 22 Sam Hornish Jr.(i) 335 0
18 24 1 Jamie McMurray 335 26
19 22 31 Jeff Burton 335 25
20 12 11 Denny Hamlin 335 24
21 20 13 Casey Mears 335 23
22 7 21 Trevor Bayne(i) 335 0
23 38 93 Travis Kvapil 335 22
24 32 10 Danica Patrick(i) 335 0
25 13 5 Kasey Kahne 334 19
26 41 83 Landon Cassill 333 18
27 27 27 Paul Menard 332 17
28 33 34 David Ragan 331 16
29 11 55 Mark Martin 329 15
30 31 95 Scott Speed 328 14
31 42 32 Ken Schrader 328 13
32 15 9 Marcos Ambrose 310 12
33 29 47 Bobby Labonte 284 11
34 25 42 Juan Pablo Montoya 279 10
35 30 38 David Gilliland 225 9
36 26 51 AJ Allmendinger 107 8
37 35 26 Josh Wise # 41 7
38 37 98 Michael McDowell 37 6
39 40 36 Dave Blaney 37 5
40 43 87 Joe Nemechek(i) 33 0
41 34 19 Mike Bliss(i) 32 0
42 28 37 JJ Yeley 10 2
43 39 91 Reed Sorenson(i) 6 0

# Denotes Rookie
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
Average Speed: 136.117 MPH
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 41 Mins, 30 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.808 Seconds
Lead Changes: 20 among 7 drivers
Cautions: 9 for 49 laps
Attendance: 146,000

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