Jimmie Johnson Wins Sixth Championship
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Jimmie Johnson needs a new nickname. No longer can he be called “Five Time’’ after winning his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup championship Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Johnson claimed the crown with a ninth-place finish that seemed effortless until a restart about 75 laps from the finish that had Johnson asking about damage to his left front fender and crew chief Chad Knaus holding his head.
Jeff Gordon spun his tires on the restart and that slowed the top line where Johnson was. He jammed the brakes and was hit from behind, knocking his left front fender into the right rear of Matt Kenseth’s car. Johnson fell from eighth to 23rd. While his left front fender was crinkled, the damage didn’t rub his tire. A caution shortly after that gave the team time to pull the fender further away from the tire.
Johnson’s biggest challenge then became running in traffic. He had spent much of the race in the top five and had to thread through traffic, especially on restarts.
It’s not surprising Johnson had issues. He noted earlier this week how most of his title runs have featured some sort of adversity in this season finale. The key, he said, would be how he and his team reacted.
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