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Johnson stays ahead of crash-filled finale, wins at Daytona (VIDEO)

Jul 6, 2013, 11:05 PM EDT

In a green-white-checkered finish, Jimmie Johnson stayed ahead of multiple melees that ensued on the final lap to win the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway – becoming the first driver to sweep both the Daytona 500 and DIS’ summer 400-miler in the same year since Bobby Allison did it in 1982.

Johnson led 93 of 160 laps en route to the win, which increased his lead in the Sprint Cup championship to 49 points over Clint Bowyer.

“I don’t know if I really made a bad move tonight, so I’m pretty proud of that,” Johnson told TNT in Victory Lane. “I had a great horse to ride…When I was growing up in California, I watched Bobby Allison and I remember where I was the day [Bobby's son] Davey passed away. That’s how much the Allison name meant to me.

“To do anything that Bobby’s done is pretty special.”

Kevin Harvick was third, followed by Bowyer in fourth and Michael Waltrip in fifth.

Johnson was leading Tony Stewart when the first of two multi-car incidents on Lap 161 was triggered by contact in Turn 1 involving Casey Mears and Carl Edwards. Because it took place well behind the leaders, NASCAR opted not to throw the yellow and let the field race to the checkered flag.

That battle went to Johnson, but as the five-time Sprint Cup champion was crossing the line in first, another wreck was happening farther back in the tri-oval. The second incident appeared to begin with contact between Danica Patrick and David Ragan, which turned Patrick into another car. When the smoke finally cleared, ten cars were involved in the crash, including Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman.

Multiple reports from NASCAR and media members at Daytona say that all drivers involved in the last-lap incidents are OK.

The G-W-C finish came about after two previous accidents within the final 11 laps.

With five laps to go, Johnson and teammate Kasey Kahne were battling for the lead when third-place driver Marcos Ambrose made contact with the five-time Sprint Cup champion in an apparent attempt to pass in the middle lane. That sent Ambrose into Kahne, who was sent skidding hard into the backstretch wall to bring out what would be the final yellow of the night.

“Jimmie moved up and blocked the outside row coming, so at that point, I had the lead,” Kahne told TNT. “I had followed Jimmie a lot throughout the race and felt really good, and the next thing I know, I get slammed. That’s kind of how these [restrictor-plate] races go – you don’t have a lot of control over some of the things that happen here.”

The Johnson/Ambrose/Kahne dust-up followed a multi-car incident with 11 laps to go that brought out the red flag. Coming out of Turn 4, Denny Hamlin tacked left then shot right into the tri-oval wall. Matt Kenseth barely dodged Hamlin but A.J. Allmendinger was unable to and sent the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota into the air briefly before it came to rest on the infield grass. The spinning Kenseth would collect Jeff Gordon and Dave Blaney as well.

Hamlin and Allmendinger were eventually checked and released from the infield care center.

  1. wgray981 - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    aaaaand this is why NASCAR is losing fans. More bribing from Hendricks so that the officials turn a blind eye to Johnson’s obvious cheating.
    Remember, this was the same guy who SHOULD be in jail for fraud if not for a presidential pardon.
    I haven’t watched a race all season and don’t plan to ever again. Hope NASCAR goes bankrupt soon.

    • ravenscaps48 - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      So why do you comment on here? And explain to me how that JJ is cheating. Every decade has dominant driver. Richard Petty in the 60’s and 70’s. Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip in the 80’s. Jeff Gordon in the 90’s. And Gordon, Stewart, and Jimmie in the 2000’s. So I don’t want to hear your babbling. Because if you don’t appreciate dominance, you should go watch Monster Jam on the Speed Channel. That’s tailored more to your liking.

      • laserw - Jul 7, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        Raven – James Mae Johnson has been caught cheating 14 times – google and do the research like I did. He is one of the most penalized drivers in Nascar history though he manages to avoid paying the price like other drivers and teams. It is a fact – during his FIVE SHAM-PIONS, his team cheated and was caught. It is also a fact when Nascar scrutinized his team after the 13th time, Johnson had one of his worst series of finishes in his career. And I need to remind you that just prior to Daytona earlier, his car was caught not conforming.

        Johnson’s conduct last night was disgraceful – intentionally blocking – he cannot race anyone – he is a little girl on the track – emotional and bitter – he caused at least one accident when he was being challenged for the lead and nearly caused another when he was in the pack.

        NASCAR actually deserves a dishonest, unethical and unremarkable driver who has to cheat to win. And he does cheat. Caught at least 14 times – and that makes him the worst offender in NASCAR history or at best in the top three ever.

    • rje49 - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      Ignorance

  2. babyriggo44 - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    I hope JJ is dead soon

    • ravenscaps48 - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      If he does die soon, he’ll be known as a top 5 greatest driver in the sports history. So keep on spewing the hate! All he’ll do is fuel it even more and he’ll just keep giving you cow pies to eat!

    • rje49 - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      Ignorant and childish

  3. cookingwithavi - Jul 7, 2013 at 4:30 AM

    A

    • ravenscaps48 - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      B

      • midtec2005 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:18 PM

        C

  4. biggdaddy007 - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    snooZzzzzzzzzzzzze fest

  5. midtec2005 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Wait wait wait wait wait…. wait… so your telling me a restrictor plate race was a crash fest? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Not possible.

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