Jimmie Johnson Wins The Pepsi 500 At Auto Club Speedway
Jimmie Johnson (No.48 Lowe's/Jimmie Johnson Foundation) became the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver to win the pole and the Pepsi 500 race at Auto Club Speedway. Johnson also became the second driver to win three Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway, tying teammate Jeff Gordon.
"It's amazing," Johnson said. "Being in my home state, with the (Jimmie Johnson) Foundation on the side of the car and to do it in the style I did - having the dominant car I did all night long, the longest thing it took me to do anything tonight was get out of the car."
Johnson is no stranger to Victory Lane; the El Cajon, Calif., native won in 2002 as well as last year's Labor Day race. He also joined Matt Kenseth to become one of the only drivers to repeat at Auto Club Speedway. With his third victory and thirteenth top-10 finish in 2008, Johnson is currently third in the points race, chasing his third straight Sprint Cup Championship.
"We're doing the right things, and those guys (Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch) have been getting the credit they deserve," Johnson said. "They've been on par; they've been kicking butt, winning races. And the only way we can be a part of that is to go out and get them, and we've done that tonight."
In the final pit, Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford), beat Johnson for the lead but was no match for the Lowe's/Jimmie Johnson Foundation car. Johnson was dominant all night, leading an Auto Club Speedway-record 228 laps, smashing Biffle's mark of 168, set in February of 2006.
"Johnson had more grip up off the corners where he was beating me," Biffle said. "I elected to go a little bit different for this setup, and it kind of bit me. The 48 was better."
Sprint Cup Points Leader Kyle Busch finished seventh and currently remains in first place over Carl Edwards by 208 points. Edwards finished sixth. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return February 22, 2009.
Ticket information is available by calling (800) 944-RACE (7223) or for more information, visit at www.autoclubspeedway.com.