ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Nov. 10, 2003) – Team Lowe’s Racing and driver Jimmie Johnson posted a top-three result for the fifth consecutive race on Sunday, finishing second in the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway.
“It’s a personal bonus for me to come out of here with a second-place finish,” said Johnson, who finished second to veteran Bill Elliott. “I felt like I was as good as (Elliott) on the short runs, but on the long run I didn’t have enough forward bite.
“If I could get by him I could maybe hold him off for a little bit. But, Bill was on the wheel and today we finished second with the Lowe’s Chevrolet team.”
The performance vaulted Johnson to second in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings, an improvement of one position over last week. He is 226 points behind leader Matt Kenseth, who has already clinched the 2003 championship.
Terry Labonte finished 12th in the No. 5 Kellogg’s / got milk? Chevy, keeping him 11th in the standings. The two-time Winston Cup champion is 56 points behind 10th-place Kurt Busch with one race remaining.
After starting 16th, Jeff Gordon ended up 22nd in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. He slid from fourth to fifth in points, just 34 behind fourth-place Ryan Newman.
In his fourth-ever Winston Cup start, Brian Vickers started from the outside pole position and finished two spots behind Gordon in 24th. His UAW-Delphi team is 26th in owner points.
The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will next visit the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 16 for the 36th and final race of 2003. NBC and MRN Radio will broadcast the event live beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET