Johnson Wins Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

Victory is the fourth in last five PIR attempts for No. 48 Chevrolet

Jimmie Johnson
Share:
Sunday, November 15, 2009

From Sporting News Wire Service

From his fiasco in Fort Worth, Jimmie Johnson rose like a phoenix in - where else? - Phoenix.

A week after teasing his Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors with a 38th-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway - his worst of the season - Johnson regained control of his championship run by winning Sunday's Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

In a dominating performance in which he led 238 of 312 laps, Johnson increased his advantage over fourth-place finisher Mark Martin (second in the standings) to 108 points. With a finish of 25th or better in the season finale next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson will lock up his record fourth straight championship.

Johnson, who won for the seventh time this season and scored the maximum 195 points (winning and leading the most laps) for the fourth time in the Chase, will eliminate the other 10 Chase competitors as soon as he takes the green flag at Homestead.

The victory was the 47th of Johnson's career, breaking a tie with Buck Baker for 13th on the career win list.

"First of all, I have to thank this race team for having the strength and mental attitude and everything that they do to bounce back from last week and show up and just put a butt-kicking on everybody today,” Johnson said.

"At the start of the race, we were a little loose but still running second or third. As soon as we put new tires on, the car came to life. We made a couple of small adjustments that really, really helped it, and I could get out to a nice comfortable lead, ride, protect what I had, work my way through traffic - not with ease, but better than other guys."

The race ran caution-free for the final 134 laps. Johnson lost the lead briefly when he pitted for four tires and fuel on Lap 243 at the 1-mile track, but he regained it on Lap 248 when Matt Kenseth came to pit road.

Johnson kept his No. 48 Chevrolet out front the rest of the way, as third-place finisher Denny Hamlin and runner-up Jeff Burton, who passed Hamlin for second on Lap 284, took turns in pursuit. Johnson's only anxious moments came when Hamlin teammate rookie Joey Logano made Johnson work especially hard to complete a pass.

"I was trying to be smart through traffic," Johnson said, "and the 20 car (Logano) - I'm not sure if he was just trying to stay two laps down and didn't want to go three laps down, or if he was really trying to help his teammate out - but, either way, the 11 car (Hamlin) caught me. Once I cleared him (Logano), I got back going, and everything was fine. But the 20 car wasn't being all that friendly."

Johnson, who started third Sunday, plans to take an aggressive approach to qualifying at Homestead to try to avoid a repeat of the early crash that took him out at Texas.

"I think qualifying 12th (at Texas) - even though that's a good qualifying spot - put us in harm's way, and I was a little cautious, maybe, in qualifying," Johnson said. "We need to show up down there and treat it like any other race.

"The farther forward we start, the better off we're going to be, track-position-wise, the better pit stall selection we're going to have. Until we get in the race and see what we really have, we're going to treat it like any other race and just go as fast as we can."

Tickets for 2010 at Phoenix International Raceway can be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223). The PIR Ticket Office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 125 S. Avondale Blvd., just south of I-10 at Exit 131 in Avondale.

Related PIR News

  • 11/13/16

    WILD FINISH GIVES LOGANO CAN-AM 500, SPOT IN NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP 4

    Joey Logano needed a good finish to advance to the championship finale of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next weekend. The semi-final race was extended by 12 laps due to two late collisions that significantly effected both the race and the championship battle. Logano got the best finish possible at Sunday's Can-Am 500, grabbing the lead on a late restart and never looking back.

  • 11/13/16

    KYLE BUSCH BECOMES FIRST DRIVER TO WIN 10 RACES IN ONE DIVISION AT PIR

    Another NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, another win for Kyle Busch. The driver of the No. 18 NOS Energy Toyota dominated yet again in Saturday's Ticket Galaxy 200 for his 10th win at PIR, a track record for a single series. Busch led 190 of 200 laps, the fourth-consecutive XFINITY race at Phoenix where he has led at least 175 of the 200 laps. But even though he lost the lead on the final restart to Justin Allgaier, Busch wasn't worried about the outcome.

  • 11/12/16

    DC SOLAR SIGNS ON AS TITLE SPONSOR OF SPRING NASCAR XFINITY SERIES RACE AT PHOENIX RACEWAY

    Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that DC Solar has been named the title sponsor of the track’s spring NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2017 and 2018. The DC Solar 200 for the upcoming NASCAR season will take place on Saturday, March 18.

  • 11/12/16

    DANIEL SUÁREZ SCORES LATE VICTORY IN LUCAS OIL 150

    Friday's Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway was setting up to be a dominant win for 18-year-old William Byron. But with 10 laps to go, both the race win and the hope of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship went up in smoke for the driver of the No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra.

  • 11/11/16

    PHOENIX RACEWAY’S PARK ‘N RIDE PROGRAM OFFERS NASCAR FANS TRAVEL OPTION FOR CAN-AM 500

    Phoenix Raceway has announced the operating schedule for its Park ‘N Ride program – encouraging race fans to take advantage of the convenient shuttle service when traveling to and from the Can-Am 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Upcoming Events

  •   No Events Found

Facebook

© 2016 Phoenix International Raceway

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnorati

ISC Track Sites