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The Pit Stop


November 17, 2008 12:37 AM

Jimmie makes history as Carl wins on fumes...

Jimmy Johnson was looking to become the second driver in 60 years to win three straight championships in a row at the Ford 400 in Miami.  Carl Edwards coming into the race was the only driver left that could spoil his championship hopes.

Jimmie Johnson said that he has a great race car while Carl Edwards said that it is a "long shot" to win the championship.  All Jimmie has to do to today is finish 36th or better if Carl leads the most laps and wins the race for Jimmie to clinch the championship.

David Reutimann got out to a good start to lead the first lap.  Then Matt Kesneth came to charge right by him for the lead of the race.  Jimmy Johnson was slowly moving up the field while Carl Edwards was able to get the lead and finally keep the lead at lap 18.

By lap 20 it was Jimmie Johnson up to 18th.  Green flag racing continued with Kevin Harvick moving his way up to second.  At lap 50 it was the start of green flag pit stops.  During this time Greg Biffle wound up getting a pass through penalty putting him a lap down.

The first caution of the day finally came out on lap 70 for an Aric Almirola spin. By the time of the caution Jimmie was in top fifteen. This brought in all the cars on the lead lap and Carl Edwards kept the lead of the race.

After the green flag dropped it was another long green flag run that saw Carl Edwards putting even more cars a lap down.  He got an over 4 second plus lead over David Ragan and at lap 15 it was time for a second round of green flag pit stops.

The caution finally came out again on lap 140 for debris. By this time Jimmie was in the top 10.  Carl Edwards took two tires to keep the lead of the race.  Jimmie Johnson took on four tires to come out in 12th.

The green lag dropped, but it was only a short green flag run this time as Kurt Busch on lap 152 blew a tire and smacked into the wall.  Some of the cars in the lead lap come in for tires and fuel.

The green flag dropped and Carl Edwards quickly darted out to a 1 second lead.  Then at lap 168 it was Marcos Ambrose blowing a tire to bring out the caution.  Also getting involved was Reed Sorenson, and Chad McCumbee.   This finally put Greg Biffle back on the lead lap.  This time after the cars up front pitted it was David Reutimann winning the race off pit road with Carl Edwards out in fourth.  Jeff Gordon though stays out to lead the race.

The green flag drops and it got a bit wild in the back.  Carl Edwards could not move up at all.  Then with 90 laps left it was Jeff Burton spinning out again.  This caution brought in Jimmie Johnson a couple more cars.  Jimmie came out in 19th.

The green flag dropped at alp 182.  Matt Kenseth was able to get the lead of race pretty quickly.  Carl Edwards though was only able to move up slowly though the field though and rotted around fourth.

At lap 198 the caution came out for Reed Sorenson who hit the wall.  The caution brought in the leaders.  Jimmie Johnson takes only two tires to lead the race with Carl Edwards out in third.  Green flag racing did not last too long though as Kurt Busch with 61 laps to go blows out another tire.  At the time of the caution it was Matt Kenseth back in the lead of the race.

This caution brought in a bunch of cars on the lead lap in for fuel, but cars up front stayed out..

With 50 laps left it was Matt Kenseth in the lead.    With 40 laps to go Jimmie Johnson lets Carl Edwards past him for third spot.  With 23 laps to go Tony Stewart was able to pass Matt Kenseth for the lead of the race.  One lap later it was Dale Jr. in the pits for tires and fuel.  Then it was David Reutimann coming in one lap later.   Two more laps went by and Dale was back into the pits and then he went behind the wall.  

Dale Jr. said it was a wheel baring that broke.

With 17 laps left it was a splash and go for Greg Biffle.  Juan Pablo Montoya came in with 16 laps left.  Jimmie Johnson came in with 13 laps left for two tires and fuel.  Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart came in next.  

This put Matt Kenseth into the lead of the race with Carl Edwards in second. Carl Edwards in the final laps was closing up to Matt Kenseth and then with 4 laps left Matt Kenseth wound up running out of fuel.

Carl said that he did not win the championship, but he did win the most races this season.  He also said that Jimmie deserved to win the championship.

"That is just absolutely awesome," said Chad Knaus who is Jimmie's crew chief on winning the championship. Chad is the first crew chief to win three championships in a row.

"To get eight is really special," said Rick Hendrick.  

"A special year," said Jimmie Johnson.  "I can't believe we are apart of history."  "We had a great car and made the most of it tonight."  Jimmie was able to win his third championship in a row by 69 points.

Jimmie wound up getting a check for over 7 million bucks for winning the championship.

"We weren't great in traffic," said Jeff Gordon who finished in fourth.

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