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The joy of six: Jimmie Johnson wins 6th Sprint Cup title (VIDEO)

Nov 17, 2013, 6:36 PM EDT

Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports are back on top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Johnson finished ninth in this evening’s season-ending Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which was enough to claim his sixth career Sprint Cup championship by 19 points over Matt Kenseth.

Kenseth left almost nothing on the table in South Florida, leading the most laps en route to a second-place finish. But the Joe Gibbs Racing driver also needed a big stumble from Johnson in order to have a real shot at the title.

It almost happened. On a restart with 74 laps to go, Johnson fell from eighth to 23rd after being caught in a stack-up caused by his Hendrick teammate, Jeff Gordon, spinning his tires.

Johnson picked up some slight left-front fender damage but Kenseth also lost ground in the fracas, which somehow did not end in a crash. A caution on Lap 206 of 267 then allowed Johnson’s No. 48 team to pull that damaged fender away from the tire during a pit stop.

The restart with 57 laps to go saw Johnson take the green in 17th, but he had risen back into the Top 10 by the time the yellow came back out again with 37 laps left after Paul Menard‘s rear tire caught on fire and then exploded moments after his No. 27 car came to his pit box. Thankfully, neither Menard or anyone on his Richard Childress Racing crew was injured in the incident.

Following yellow-flag stops, Johnson was 13th after taking four tires but moved forward several spots in his final green-flag stint without any problems. A few moments after Denny Hamlin had taken the checkered flag for the first win in his tumultuous, injury-marred 2013 season, Johnson crossed the stripe in ninth position to start yet another championship celebration in South Florida.

“Yes, yes, yes!,” Johnson screamed joyfully at the end of the race over his team’s radio. “Thank you, guys. What a race team! You guys are amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

On the other end, Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, returned the good vibes.

“Thank you, my man – thank you,” Knaus replied back. “What a spectacular job this season.”

Knaus then thanked the entire team for their efforts before telling Johnson to “get a sip of that damn bottle you got in [the car] because that’s the last healthy liquid you’re gonna have for the rest of the night.”

More to come…

  1. laserw - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    I wish someone in the sports media would pursue this story of collusion and potential criminal activity.

    On July/August of 2012, NASCAR approved the Chevrolet SS for use in NASCAR racing. In every year that NASCAR has approved a vehicle for use, it must actually be sold to consumers to qualify. Through 26 races to qualify for the NASCAR championship, not one Chevrolet SS was sold to any consumer. Not one.

    In October 2013, precisely ONE Chevrolet SS was sold to a consumer – unknown person.

    It is unethical and unprofessional for a manufacturer such as Chevrolet to misrepresent and to lie about when its vehicle would be available for sale and since NASCAR bases its rulings on what is eligible to race on what manufacturers represent, there is now a question that should be raised.

    How can ANY win by a driver of a Chevrolet SS be allowed? Clearly NASCAR does not intend to allow a car to be raced if only one vehicle has been sold – in the 1960’s, you had to sell hundreds and then up to a 1000 to qualify.

    And since no Chevrolet SS was sold prior to the Chase, how can a Championship winner be determined using an ineligible car? Since his wins were illegitimate (none of the SS’s were sold in 26 races), then how does he qualify for the Chase? How can he win a Championship when at the very minimum, half of the Chase races were already run PRIOR to the first sale of the SS?

    NASCAR and Chevrolet have a lot of explaining to do since Jimmy Johnson and all of Hendrick Motorsports and all Chevrolet drivers were driving a vehicle that never qualified to be raced – improper equipment gets drivers disqualified – and this is one of the most egregious examples of unethical conduct in sports history!

    • basedrum777 - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      So they broke their own rule, which they set arbitrarily and you want them to penalize themselves for not following their own guidelines? Think about that for a minute….

      They get post race inspection just like the other cars and they meet the standards applied to all of the types of cars racing. Nascar has done a ton (which some view as bad) in working to have basically one car from 3/4 different makers driving around the track. What possible benefit would they get letting them race a car that was advantageous at the risk of losing the other car makers in the process? Dumb conspiracy theories abound from people not willing to give JJ his due. He’s the best of this generation and can make a case he would’ve been top 3 or so all-time.

  2. unclemoobaa1911 - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    OK so using your logic…… Toyota does not produce a rear wheel drive V8 Camry so any wins accrued by a Toyota Camry in NASCAR competition is null and void. Toyota and NASCAR have a lot of explaining to do. If you want an investigation, investigate the fact that NASCAR handed Toyota a NASCAR approved V8 from Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge and basically said “here take what you like from these 3 and use in developing your own V8″. In today’s world and ever since 1987 their has been nothing “stock” about a stock car

    • charger383 - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      I have been saying that sense toyota entered NASCAR

  3. florida727 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    I think this is cool. I’m not a huge NASCAR fan, but I enjoy watching history being made in any sport. Glad for him and his team. Will be a great story line going forward because he’ll have a chance to tie Earnhardt and Petty next time he’s in a position to win a season championship with 7. Congrats 48!

  4. indycarseries500 - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    6 Pack!!

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