Win No. 48 For Car No. 48

Jimmie Johnson held off Kevin Harvick to score his 48th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in Sunday's Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

A late race pit stop turned golden for Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus as they inherited the lead when the No. 48 got off pit road right before the race's final caution came out. From there, Johnson was able to lead the final 23 laps en route to his second straight win at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway.

"Today fortune came our way when we hit pit road and the caution came out and it gave us track position," Johnson said. "We lost the handle the second half of the race. The fact that we were on pit road gave us track position and I drove my butt off, and we finally got our car turning."

Harvick put on a furious charge in the closing laps to try and pass Johnson for the win but when he hit the wall coming out of Turn 4 with three laps-to-go, Johnson was able to speed away for the win.

"The 29 was coming," Johnson said. "I had a feeling all day long ... I knew he was going to be tough."

The victory gave Johnson his fifth win his home track, ACS.

"That is amazing. I won my first race here and to come back and win my 48th...I can't thank the fans enough for supporting our great sport and being behind us," he said. "It has just been a great nine years and I look forward to see what the future brings."

Johnson led eight times for 101 laps and won with an average speed of 141.911 mph. It was his fifth victory in the last 11 Sprint Cup races.

Harvick's runner-up finish placed him in the top spot in the Sprint Cup Series standings by 19 over his teammate Clint Bowyer.

"Everybody on our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet team did a great job," said Harvick who took over the series point lead. "We were making up ground and Jimmie saw that and he moved up and I just got tight. I got the thing in the fence and just didn't want....I should have just let off. I kept driving it in to the wall and got tight after that. Should have never been there in the first place. I got myself in the back there with the speeding penalty. All-in-all a good day and fast cars."

Jeff Burton, who led three times for 46 laps en route to a third-place finish, gained seven poisitions in the standings to fifth after he scored his sixth top five at Auto Club.

Mark Martin finished fourth with Joey Logano rounding out the top five with his fourth career top five in 41 Sprint Cup starts.

Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle completed the first ten finishers.

The race was finished with impending rain coming into the area and was in fact slowed once for a passing shower. But despite the ominous clouds bearing down on the track, officials were able to complete the entire distance.

The Sprint Cup Series now heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for next Sunday's Shelby American.

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