Sunday, February 28, 2010

Johnson Reels in Gordon To Win 4th Time in Las Vegas

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- Jimmie Johnson needed luck to win a week ago at Fontana. In Las Vegas, a city of chance, he didn't need any help at all.

Johnson reeled in teammate Jeff Gordon, who had dominated Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, to win for the second consecutive week. Johnson took four tires on the final pit stop, chased Gordon for 17 laps, then finally sailed past his Hendrick Motorsports teammate with 17 laps to go to wrap up the win.

"No luck involved in that one, my friend," crew chief Chad Knaus told Johnson.

The win was the 49th victory of Johnson's career and fourth at Las Vegas. It also made the four-time defending champion the all-time winningest driver on 1.5-mile speedways with 15 victories -- one more than Gordon, Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty.

Gordon dominated the race, leading 218 of the 267 laps while searching for his first victory in almost a year. He was out front when Kevin Conway's spin brought out the final caution, and debated pitting strategy with crew chief Steve Letarte.

The call was made at the last second for Gordon to come in, and Letarte changed just two tires to get Gordon back on track before the competition. Knaus called for four tires in a decision that put Johnson in fourth on the restart.

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Las Vegas Top 5 Finishers
1. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
2. Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet
3. Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
4. Mark Martin, Chevrolet
5. Matt Kenseth, Ford

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