Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Johnson Works OT for Win; Victor Edges Kenseth by 3 Feet in Two-Lap Shootout in Las Vegas

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Johnson Works OT for Win; Victor Edges Kenseth by 3 Feet in Two-Lap Shootout in Las Vegas

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

LAS VEGAS -- Jimmie Johnson waited until overtime to lead his first lap of Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. To be more exact, he waited until the final 150 yards.

Johnson powered his way beside Matt Kenseth in the final turn at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Once he finally got beside Kenseth, he won a drag race by 3 feet and spoiled Kenseth's domination at the track.

Kenseth led for a track-record 146 laps, including 74 of the final 76. But a green-white-checkered overtime finish created by Kenny Wallace's blown tire gave Johnson the extra time he needed to finally wear down Kenseth.

"That's great racing," Johnson said. "I had a lot of fun. I knew if I could get outside of Matt at the start-finish line, I could beat him. I knew the green-white-checker, the Monte Carlo could get it done."

Kenseth was 10 car lengths behind when the caution flag waved with three laps to go. The yellow flag allowed Johnson to move up to Kenseth's back bumper for the two-lap shootout. Kenseth held him off during the first lap, but when Kenseth moved low heading into Turn 3 to block Johnson's pass, Johnson moved to the outside groove and pulled even with the leader coming off the final corner. From there, Johnson won the race to the finish line.

"My car was too loose for the long run, but I knew it would be fine for a two-lap green-white-checker," Johnson said.

Kenseth won two weeks ago at California after Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart both dominated most of the race, only to fall out with blown engines. This time, his fortunes were reversed.

"We led all day; we thought we had the best car," Kenseth said. "[The engine] was laying down for some reason. I tried everything I could. If I tried any harder, I would have wrecked. My guys [in the pits] got me in position to win, and I didn't get it done. …

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