Jimmie Johnson Takes Home the Trophy in the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America
With temperatures hovering in the low 50s, it was a chilly night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but Jimmie Johnson was on fire throughout the entire NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America weekend. He won the race in a dominating fashion after starting from the pole, leading 92 laps and topping the speed charts in both practice sessions.
Johnson, in the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, had to hold off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon during several late-race restarts for his sixth win in 17 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"We could certainly run a fast lap throughout the weekend. Some other guys were better, but we were still competitive and ran well. That last stop we had the car where it needed to be. We got it right when it counted," Johnson said.
"I knew that they were fast on two tires and in clean air he [Gordon] was real quick, but when he was mired in traffic, he didn't have the speed he needed. That last restart I had my hands full. I was loose on the inside of him, and I had a couple moments. Once I cleared him I knew we were in good shape."
Matt Kenseth logged his 10th top-10 finish in 21 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a second-place finish after starting fourth in the No. 17 Carhartt Ford.
"We had a really good car," Kenseth said. "The way we were running, if we would have made the Chase we weren't going to win the championship anyway. To finish this season strong would be good for all of our attitudes."
Kasey Kahne finished third in the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge after leading 67 laps earlier in the race.
"We had a really good Budweiser Dodge," Kahne said. "We weren't good enough that final run. We were the best car at times throughout the night, but the final run when it counted, we weren't."
Gordon fell back to finish fourth, and rookie Joey Logano brought the No. 20 Toyota home fifth after a mistake in the pits early in the race.
"To come down to the end and get a top-five out of it, that was huge for the whole Home Depot team," said Logano. "I had a blast. You race against a world class champion race car driver like that door-to-door for a top-five finish - that's a bunch of fun. To be racing Jeff Gordon, I never thought that day would happen."
There were a total of 22 lead changes among nine drivers and 10 cautions for a total of 42 laps. A complete rundown of results for the NASCAR Banking 500 is available online.