|Jimmie Johnson goes back-to-back at Atlanta.|
Then he realized what it really meant.
Johnson stuck his hand out of the No. 48 car, holding up three fingers.
It was his little tribute to the Intimidator.
Johnson used pit strategy and a late yellow to claim the 76th victory of his career Sunday, pulling even with the late Dale Earnhardt on the NASCAR career list.
Only six drivers have won more.
"This is special for sure," said Johnson, who began his Cup career shortly after Earnhardt was killed in a wreck on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. "There was a big void in my mind not having a chance to race against him. I was literally a handful of months away from having the opportunity. To tie him today, for me personally, gives me a little bit of attachment to the great Dale Earnhardt."
Johnson won the race in overtime, crossing the line under yellow after the only wreck of the day. In a poignant touch, teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the runner-up.
"If he's gonna tie that record, I'm certainly glad I got to run second," Junior said. "I think my dad would've thought the world of him."
Kevin Harvick led 131 laps, more than anyone else, but ceded the lead after he made his last green-flag pit stop nine laps after Johnson. The No. 48 car made a quicker stop and wound up with about a 14-second lead, then watched it fade away as Harvick gave chase on newer tires.
Read More Here....Associated Press