- Judge’s order preserves NSA surveillance records
- Refurbished Pollock masterpiece goes on display
- Iditarod becomes mad dash for Nome
- ‘Burger King baby’ now seeks birth mom on Facebook
- Study: 2 percent of Americans have new hips, knees
- Friend: Pistorius shot gun out car without warning
- States wrestle with developing, restricting drones
- Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters
- Ukraine’s Crimea seeks to become independent state
- Ex-Gov. Christie aides to judge: Quash subpoenas
Jimmie Johnson wins sixth NASCAR Cup championship, Hamlin wins final race
HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Back on top with only two NASCAR greats left to catch, Jimmie Johnson won his sixth championship in eight years Sunday and staked his claim as one of the most dominant competitors in sports history.
Johnson, needing only to finish 23rd or better to spoil Matt Kenseth’s career season, was on cruise control most of the day at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Johnson had just one hiccup en route to his ninth-place finish, when a stack up on a restart caused Johnson and Kenseth to bang slightly, costing Johnson 15 spots.
Although the incident caused slight damage to the fender on the No. 48 Chevrolet, Johnson only dropped to 23rd in the field. A caution allowed him to head to pit road, where crew chief Chad Knaus methodically barked commands to repair the damage.
Johnson was soon off and running as if nothing had happened.
“I have six, and we’ll see if I can get seven,” said Johnson, who has been asked repeatedly of late where he thinks he stands in NASCAR history.
“Time will tell. I think we need to save the argument until I hang up the helmet, then it’s worth the argument. Let’s wait until I hang up the helmet until we really start thinking about this.”
Kenseth, needing a Johnson collapse to have any shot at the title, positioned himself to pounce should anything go awry. He led a race-high 144 laps and finished second to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin.
“It was just unbelievable year for us, obviously we wanted to win the championship as good as we ran all year,” said Kenseth, who won seven races in his first season with JGR.
Kenseth’s effort just wasn’t enough against a Hendrick Motorsports team that wouldn’t be denied for a third consecutive year.
Johnson won a record five straight titles from 2006 through 2010, was mathematically eliminated before the 2011 finale, but was back in the title hunt last season. Only he had a tire failure in the penultimate race at Phoenix and then a mechanical failure in the finale to lose the championship to Brad Keselowski.
His two-year drought is over, and his crew was ready for the party on the South Beach.
Johnson planned to savor every moment of the celebration and his championship reign.
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Redskins free agency: 5 positions to watch
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- CPAC 2014: Despite Ben Carson's speech, gay marriage mostly took a back seat at CPAC
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again