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“You never want to lose, especially when you have a chance to win,” Johnson said. “We could’ve made history today, so that stings a little more.”

Stewart, who snapped a 30-race winless streak, said he felt bad for Johnson.

“He didn’t deserve to be in that situation at the end,” he said. “At the same time, he knows what the rules are. He knows that the leader has to cross the start-finish line first. He knows that. It’s not for me to say whether it’s right or wrong.”