Johnson Wins Fourth Brickyard 400

Jimmie Johnson

Johnson's fourth Brickyard win was his 58th career Sprint Cup Series win. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

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INDIANAPOLIS - Jimmie Johnson became only the second driver to win the Brickyard 400 four times when he went to Victory Lane Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Johnson led 99 of the race’s 160 laps to take his third victory of the season and tie Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon as the only two drivers to win the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indy four times.

“Man, you just hope to race here,” Johnson said after scoring team owner Rick Hendrick’s eighth Brickyard victory. “To come here and win is a huge honor. And to win four -- four wins! I’m at a loss for words.”

The two NASCAR drivers join Indianapolis 500 winners Al Unser, Rick Mears and A.J. Foyt in the exclusive four-time Indy victory club.

“I can remember watching the 500 on the couch with my grandfather and I remember him telling me he came to Indy,” said Johnson. “It’s nice to create my own family memories here."

Johnson turned in one of the most dominating performances in Brickyard 400 history, beating runner-up Kyle Busch to the checkered flag by a race record 4.758-seconds. 

“I can tell you this I’m so proud of my team," Johnson said. "I’m so proud of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, Lowe’s, KOBALT Tools and Chevrolet. (Crew chief) Chad Knaus gave me one heck of a racecar today and pit road was awesome too. It was a total team effort and we put it on them today. That was nice.”

Busch, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon rounded out the top five.

“Can't say enough about the effort the guys put in for our best finish here and our best run,” said Busch. “If it wasn't for the 48, we were probably in our zip code on the rest of the field, but Jimmie Johnson was in his own country today, so we just couldn't keep up with him. That was the best we had, and it seemed like that was the best anybody had.”

Biffle and crew chief Matt Puccia took the lead on a late-race round of pit stops when they tried a two-tire strategy. While the decision ultimately did not get the Roush Fenway Racing driver to Victory Lane, Biffle was still pleased with the third-place performance.

“We did two tires there at the end, and I thought a lot of people would do two tires, and it turned out most everybody did four,” said Biffle. “That hurt us a little bit, but still, we ended up third. Kind of flattened off.”

Pole sitter Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr. and Tony Stewart completed the first 10 finishers.

The race featured 17 lead changes among nine different drivers with Johnson’s average speed of 137.680 mph.

There were five cautions for 25 laps with the biggest incident of the day involving Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano, who were swept up in an accident as they raced through a tight field of traffic.

Trevor Bayne and Bobby Labonte were also involved in the incident, which saw Kenseth finish 35th and lose his lead in the Sprint Cup Series standings.

“Yeah, it is frustrating,” said Kenseth. “I got hung out on the restart which is one thing. I was trying to get through there and the 14 (Tony Stewart) wiped the whole side off my car in the straightaway for no reason and that kind of made me mad. I was in front of the 9 (Marcos Ambrose) and saw he had a run so I went down to block and he went across the grass and shot me up out of the groove there. It was crazy there at the end. You could see the wreck happening and I was just hoping I wasn’t going to be in it.”

For the first time since 2004, Earnhardt is the point leader by 14 over Kenseth with Biffle, Johnson and Hamlin the top five.

"I'm proud of that because it says a lot about our body of work,” said Earnhardt of leading the standings. "All season of long, we've been working hard and finishing well. That is symbolic of how well we've done. I'm proud of that. I have felt that way about our position in points all season long."

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Pocono Raceway for next Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500.

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