A record was tied in today’s chaotic overtime NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Winning driver Jimmie Johnson now sits alongside Dale Earnhardt Sr. for most top-level Sprint Cup Series wins, at 76 overall.
Johnson built up a sizable lead toward the end of the race thanks to crew chief Chad Knaus’ decision to pit the No. 48 early on the car’s penultimate pit stop of the race. According to Fox Sports, this gave Johnson a 13-second lead with 37 laps left, and it was still a six-second lead heading into the final three laps.
However, a tire blowout with three laps to go on Ryan Newman’s car caused the race to go into overtime. Today’s race was fairly trouble free, with this only being the second caution flag of the day. Unfortunately for Johnson, this nuked his lead from orbit, as the rest of the field would be right on his tail when the race restarted.
On the restart, Johnson shot out in front and stayed there, keeping an eager Kyle Busch behind him to claim his 76th career Sprint Cup win. He and Earnhardt are now tied for 7th overall in number of NASCAR Series That Has Gone By Several Names Over The Years But Is Currently The Sprint Cup wins. Richard Petty still has the record for NASCAR Cup wins, holding it at 200.
Less lucky in Atlanta today was Aric Almirola, who ended the race with a car-b-que in a last-lap four-car wreck:
The race was allowed to end on that lap despite the wreck further back in the field.
Johnson honored Earnhardt’s memory and record by holding three fingers up out his window after the race. Earnhardt’s son and Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., came in second in the race. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch had a phenomenal drive to third place after a post-qualifying inspection failure forced him to start from the rear on the grid.
This is also Johnson’s fifth Sprint Cup win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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