What was promoted as a wild asphalt circus turned into bumping and banging for the win and the points lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with Jimmie Johnson coming out on top at Texas.
For the second straight week Johnson captured the checkered flag after starting on the pole, winning Sunday’s AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Upon the final restart in a green-white-checkered finish, Johnson and Brad Keselowski did some bumping and banging in order to leave with the points lead and the win. Keselowski would finish right behind Johnson in second.
For Johnson the race at Texas was a fight for the win.
“It was an awesome race,” said Johnson. “Great way to put it and the gloves are off and it’s bare knuckle fighting.”
In the AAA 500 Kyle Busch finished in third followed by Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart to round out the top five. Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Greg Biffle closed out the top ten.
With his two wins Johnson helps car manufacturer Chevrolet achieve two accomplishments two weeks in a row, capturing the manufacturers championship and the 700th Cup Series win.
“Very cool to hit those landmark numbers for Chevy and just very proud of the effort tonight,” said Johnson.
During Sunday’s AAA 500 Johnson also led the most laps.
Heading out of Texas, Keselowski is now seven points behind Johnson in the point standings. After his second place finish Keselowski thought he was close to capturing the checkered before the final caution came out.
“I thought I had it until that last yellow came out, but there is nothing you can do when somebody’s wrecked on the track,” said Keselowski. “Just a good effort, came up a little bit short.”
Keselowski’s second place finish is his career best at Texas. Prior to the race the stats were not in his favor against a previous Texas winner in Johnson.
The race at Texas got off to a slow start with no cautions within the first 100 laps, afterwards the wild asphalt circus would begin with wrecks and spins heading into the finish.
With two races left before the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is crowned, two chasers have been eliminated. Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are now out of contention as of Texas.
Heading into Phoenix it will be a two men showdown between Johnson and Keselowski. Both drivers have five wins each and will have to win if they want to secure the championship. Texas’s wild finish claimed its wild asphalt circus slogan and the circus will continue until the checkered flag waves at Homestead.