Now everyone can stop talking about it. This season marked the latest in a NASCAR season that six-time champion Jimmie Johnson had gone without a win since his sophomore season in 2003, but he ended that streak with a win from the pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.
“They know we are awake,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, the 48 is heading that way and we can give other people something to think about.”
Johnson pretty much had the best car all night, leading a race high 164 laps. Kevin Harvick who had a strong car and lead 100 laps, but he had to settle for second. Matt Kenseth finished third, Carl Edwards fourth and Jamie McMurray in a car sponsored by Wichita plane maker Cessna finished fifth.
Kansas native Clint Bowyer had one of the best cars in the early going, running in the top five for most of the first 200 laps, but a vibration on lap 192 put an end to his good run. He would finish 17th.
“We were going for the lead about halfway through the race when I got a vibration and had to come down pit road. We went a couple laps down,” said Bowyer. “I got one back pretty quickly, but could never quite get in position to get back on the lead lap. Just disappointing. We had a good 5-hour ENERGY Toyota all weekend long.”
Kurt Busch who was the first driver to race the Indy 500/Coke 600 double since 2004 had his night end early at Charlotte end early thanks to engine failure. He had completed 907 of the 1100 miles he had hoped to complete.
"It was really a lot of fun,” said Busch, who finished 6th in Indy and 40th in Charlotte. “A lot of preparation, a lot of hard work and a lot of team involvement on the Andretti side and the Stewart-Haas side. It was a dream come true to run at Indy and post a really good finish there. I can't let what happened down here dampen the mood.”