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JOHNSON WINS NSCS AAA TEXAS 500 FOR FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW
FORT WORTH, Texas (November 8, 2015) – Brad Keselowski owns a track record for most laps led in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway, but Jimmie Johnson owns the cowboy hat.
>Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) overtook an extremely dominant Keselowski (No. 2 Wurth Ford) with four laps remaining Sunday to win the AAA Texas 500 for the fourth consecutive year at Texas Motor Speedway. The victory allowed Johnson, who won April’s Duck Commander 500, to become the third driver in speedway history to complete the season sweep, joining Carl Edwards (2008) and Denny Hamlin (’10). It also was his fifth win of the season and 75th of his career, one shy of tying Dale Earnhardt Sr. for seventh in the all-time wins category.
It was an utterly dominant performance by Keselowski, but that may have made the runner-up finish more devastating given that a victory would have secured one of the three remaining berths to advance to the four-driver Championship Round in the Nov. 22 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Keselowski shattered the track record for laps led in a single race (278 by Tony Stewart, fall of 2006) by leading 312 in the 334-lap race.
The ninth and final caution of the day proved costly for Keselowski as it bunched the field and put Johnson in a position run him down. Keselowski led the field on the restart with 18 to go, but was passed by Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet) on the opening lap before regaining the lead on the ensuing lap.
Johnson moved past Truex Jr. as well and then settled in on Keselowski’s bumper for the final laps. Keselowski was able to fend off several passing attempts by the faster Johnson, who eventually took the lead on Lap 331 following an inside pass on the backstretch and through Turn 3. Johnson led the final four laps and pulled away to a 1.082-second margin of victory over Keselowski and play the Chase spoiler after being eliminated in the opening round of the championship playoff format.
“I just kept pressure on him,” said Johnson, who earned his track-record sixth career Sprint Cup win at Texas. “I could see that he was really tight and that was the first I had seen him that vulnerable all day. I just kept the pressure on him, kept searching for line. He saw me coming on the top and protected it.
“I just kept trying to put pressure on him hoping for a mistake. He got real loose off of Turn 2 and I had a big run down the backstretch and drove it in really far into Turn 3 hoping to hear clear. Once I did, I knew I was home free.”