Johnson Lights Up Loudon

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LOUDON, N.H. - Jimmie Johnson bounced back from an early race pit road accident to win Sunday's Sylvania 300 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

The win gives Johnson a sweep of the two Winston Cup races run at New Hampshire this season. Ricky Rudd finished second with Joe Nemechek, Bill Elliott and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounding out the Top 5.

Rusty Wallace, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray completed the first ten finishers.

Some of Johnson's crew members were struck on pit road during the first caution on lap 127. It happened when Jeff Gordon dived low under Michael Waltrip, who was pitted in the stall ahead of Gordon's (two ahead of Johnson's). Waltrip turned into his pit, Gordon was already there and the two made contact, sending Gordon's car into Johnson's crew. Front tire carrier Ryan McCray and front tire changer Cory Quick were both struck by Gordon's car, but neither was seriously injured. Both crew members were treated and released from the Infield Care Center.

"We had a great race car," said Johnson. "With what happened on pit road, with our guys getting hit, to come back from that with no one being injured, we're just so thankful. I have to thank the Good Lord for watching over my guys today. When I looked up, I saw two of my guys on the windshield of the 24 going for a ride. They got up, in pain, and finished the stop and kept us going all day long. I want to thank everybody at Lowe's, Hendrick Motorsports. We had a great car and we had to overcome a lot of adversity today. It took the whole team to do it, and we did it."

Johnson's victory was his third of the 2003 season and the sixth of his career in his 66th career start. He remains fourth in the Winston Cup point standings, trailing leader Matt Kenseth by 472 points.

The Winston Cup Series now travels to Dover Downs International Speedway next Sunday for the MBNA America 400.

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