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Johnson Completes New Hampshire Sweep!

LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 15, 2003) – Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe’s Racing had their brooms ready at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday, winning the Sylvania 300 and completing a season sweep at the 1.058-mile oval.

Johnson, who also won the New England 300 at New Hampshire on July 20, scored his sixth career NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory—and third of 2003—in his 66th career start, remaining fourth in championship points after 27 of 36 races.

“It’s very hard to come back and repeat and I’m glad that we’ve done it,” Johnson said. “We’re the first ones to do it in the 18 years they’ve been coming here. It’s a huge honor.”

Driving the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, Johnson started eighth and led a total of 12 laps, including the final six after taking the point on Lap 294. He quickly stretched his lead, crossing the finish line 6.24 seconds ahead of runner-up Ricky Rudd.

“I want to thank everybody at Lowe’s and Hendrick Motorsports,” said Johnson, who has posted three top-10 finishes in just four career races at New Hampshire. “We had a great car and we had to overcome a lot of adversity today. It took the whole team to do it, and we did it.”

After fighting a tight-handling race car in the early going, Joe Nemechek started 25th and battled to finish third at New Hampshire, placing two Hendrick Motorsports teams in the top three. It was the Lakeland, Fla., native’s best finish since winning at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in May.

“It’s a fun race track to come to,” said Nemechek, driver of the No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevy. “I have to thank all the New Hampshire fans that come here and support all this. We have a great time coming up here and racing.

“To finish third here feels really good.”

Nemechek moved up two positions in the Winston Cup driver standings to 24th overall with one win, two top-five finishes and five top-10s.

After starting from the outside pole position, Terry Labonte came in 18th on Sunday after a late-race stop for fuel. He remains ninth in championship points, one position behind his brother, Bobby.

A two-time Winston Cup champion, Labonte has one victory, one pole position, four top-fives and eight top-10s this season in the No. 5 Kellogg’s / got milk? Chevy.

Labonte was followed by Jeff Gordon, who finished 19th in the No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo. While running in the top 10, the four-time Winston Cup champion fell off the pace after running low on fuel with less than three laps remaining, pushing him to mid-pack when the checkered flag waved.

Gordon, who started seventh, dropped to sixth in points.

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will next visit Dover (Del.) International Speedway for the MBNA America 400 on Sunday, Sept. 14. TNT and MRN Radio will broadcast the event live beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.

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