Changed track, same result at Texas with Jimmie Johnson win

Cheryl Sanders
April 10, 2017

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will take next weekend off and return to Bristol Motor Speedway on April 23.

However, the race is still a 334-lap event, so there is also plenty of points in the dominator categories.

"I figured we would get one sooner or later, but it's nice", Earnhardt said.

"Basically, I wrecked the best race vehicle I ever had", Bayne said after exiting the infield care center. I think if we would have come out with the lead, I don't know if I could have held him off.

Johnson started at the back of the 40-car field because of a tire change after a spin in qualifying. "Maybe it was, but our vehicle was really good, so it could operate on the bottom of (Turns) 1 and 2 really good, and that was about the only place you could pass was the exit of 2, so our auto was thankfully working good over there".

"If I could've gotten by Joey with maybe five to go, I definitely would've caught Jimmie", Larson said. The Food City 500 will air live on FOX at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The top-seven cars did not pit under the previous caution so they would have to get serviced during the caution that ended stage two. Kyle Busch and Keselowski swapped the lead several times over the last 160 laps of the race but with 43 laps to go Brad took the lead for the final time. Hamilton started from the pole and led the entire race.

The race on pit road was eventful for Chris Buescher's team. "We really didn't make many adjustments".

A potential breakthrough: Johnson is starting to get to the point where his fans might start worrying about him, but you know he's going to get it going sooner or later, and new layout or not, Texas Motor Speedway could be the cure to what now ails the 48.

"It was big for me", Earnhardt said after his first top-10 finish in his last 11 starts.

And earlier this year, Larson finished second at Atlanta Motor Speedway. We had a really strong run.

"I always felt really comfortable on the old track here, I knew what I needed the auto to do", Jones said. "We haven't had a top-5 finish since like four races before we stopped racing previous year". I didn't have any fluids so I'm not feeling the best.

"Absolutely, I knew from day one I had the best support", said Hinchcliffe, who considers winning at Long Beach a crown jewel event. When the caution came out, Logano stayed out to inherit the lead.

"I think we were probably a little slower than him for the last few laps - he had so many lapped cars to get around that there was no way he was going to get to us". "Just couldn't get there".

It was Johnson's seventh win at Texas, the most of any active driver. Just felt like we passed cars a lot. "We kept getting stuck on the outside on the restarts and had to wait and wait until we got track position on the bottom".

But Johnson meticulously made his way to the front of the pack. I can't thank everybody enough who made this happen. I'm so proud of the fight in this race team.

Hinchcliffe grabs 1st victory since near-fatal 2015 accident: James Hinchcliffe raced to his first victory since his near-fatal accident in 2015 by hanging in a three-lap shootout to the finish Sunday on the streets of Long Beach. Also scoring top-10 points for the segment were Ryan Reed, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Erik Jones, Ryan Sieg, Blake Koch, Brendan Gaughan and Wallace Jr. "We were really in our wheelhouse and we were just able to execute all day". "Wherever we end up starting is going to hurt us".

Running at the back of the pack, Garrett Smithley spun out on the 83 lap bringing out another caution. Suarez did a great job of keeping his No. 18 Juniper Toyota off the wall, while the field avoided on-the-fly contact.

And that extended the break from five to 10 laps. Logano, polesitter Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top five.

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