Johnson holds off Bowyer by 0.002 seconds for first win of the season

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Jimmie Johnson edged Clint Bowyer by 0.002 seconds, about a foot, on Sunday to win the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. This also ties the closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup history (2003 at Darlington).

“We were just the lucky guy at the end with a good run. We had some big mo on our side, and off we went.” Johnson said.

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This was Johnson’s first win of the season and 54th of his Sprint Cup career.

Johnson and teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. laid back most of the day but made their move coming out of the fourth turn on the final lap. They passed Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin. With just enough of a push from Earnhardt Jr., Johnson stayed just in front of Clint Bowyer to win.

“I can’t thank Junior enough. He made the decision that my car was faster leading. And the way these things are finishing up, the lead car’s going to get the win.” Johnson said.

Bowyer finished second, Gordon third, Earnhardt Jr. fourth and Kevin Harvick finished fifth.

“With as crazy as it gets in these closing laps, sometimes a third is almost like a victory at these type of race tracks.” Gordon said.

The race had 26 leaders with 88 lead changes, tying the record set in last year’s spring race at Talladega.

Unofficial Race Results
Aaron’s 499, Talladega Superspeedway
April 15, 2011, Race 8 of 36
============================
Pos. Driver Make Pts.
============================
1 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 47
2 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 44
3 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 42
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 41
5 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 40
6 Carl Edwards Ford 39
7 Greg Biffle Ford 38
8 Mark Martin Chevrolet 37
9 David Gilliland Ford 35
10 Joey Logano Toyota 35
11 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 33
12 Paul Menard Chevrolet 33
13 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 32
14 David Reutimann Toyota 30
15 Regan Smith Chevrolet 30
16 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 29
17 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 27
18 Kurt Busch Dodge 27
19 Andy Lally * Ford 25
20 Robby Gordon Dodge 24
21 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 24
22 Casey Mears Toyota 23
23 Denny Hamlin Toyota 21
24 Bobby Labonte Toyota 21
25 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 20
26 Bill Elliott Chevrolet 18
27 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 18
28 Michael Waltrip Toyota 16
29 Travis Kvapil Ford 0
30 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 14
31 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 0
32 Marcos Ambrose Ford 13
33 Brad Keselowski Dodge 12
34 Terry Labonte Ford 10
35 Kyle Busch Toyota 10
36 Matt Kenseth Ford 9
37 Kasey Kahne Toyota 8
38 Brian Vickers Toyota 6
39 David Ragan Ford 6
40 Trevor Bayne Ford 0
41 Joe Nemechek Toyota 0
42 Steve Park Chevrolet 0
43 Kevin Conway Toyota 0

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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