This Buds For Johnson

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Jimmie Johnson held off Ryan Newman and teammate Jeff Gordon to win Saturday night's NEXTEL Cup Series Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.

Johnson worked his Hendrick Motorsports Lowe's Chevy around Newman on lap 55 of the 70-lap non-points event to take the lead. He stayed in front the rest of the way to score his first career restrictor plate win by only two-tenths of a second over Newman.

"That's a great way to start, with my first restrictor plate win," Johnson said. "Too bad it's not the 500."

Johnson came off pit road second behind Newman at the race's mandatory pit stop during the second segment. But with Newman only taking two tires, Johnson was easily able to speed by with four fresh ones to take the lead once the cars came back up to speed.

"Right at the end, it mattered who came out first in that pit stop and my guys did a great job getting me out in front," Johnson said.

Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle, who was the leader at the event's twenty lap break, rounded out the Top 5. Biffle set a Budweiser Shootout record by leading 44 laps of the 70 circuit event, but was forced to settle for a fifth place finish after being shuffled back in the late race scramble for the lead.

Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne and Bobby Labonte completed the first ten.

The win came in Johnson's third career start in the season-opening race for last year's NEXTEL Cup Series pole winners.

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is next up for the NEXTEL Cup Series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. (ET).

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