LOUDON, N.H. (June 27, 2010) – Jimmie Johnson scored his second straight win and his fifth of the 2010 season on Sunday when he went to Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, led just nine laps on Sunday, charging from his 10th-place starting spot to take the lead first on Lap 106. He briefly returned to the top spot on Lap 288 and appeared poised to stay in first following a restart on Lap 294, when Kurt Busch moved over the four-time Sprint Cup Champion. Johnson tracked Busch down and wrestled away the lead during the final two laps.
“Yeah, you’re going to have that on the short tracks,” Johnson said. “We had so much green-flag running, I knew at some point we’d get bunched up, and it would all break loose. And it certainly did.”
Johnson maintains second in the driver standings, but is chipping away at points leader Kevin Harvick, who finished fifth in Sunday’s affair. He trails Harvick by 105 points.
Jeff Gordon lined up his No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet 16th and drove his way to capture the fourth-place finish – his eighth top-five finish of the season. Gordon remains fifth in the driver standings
“We really hit the set-up early in the race,” Gordon said. “And I felt like man, we’ve got a shot at this thing. I don’t know if it was track conditions or just adjustments, I don’t know, but we just kind of lost the handling on it a little bit. It got bumping and banging and got exciting like it always does here at New Hampshire, and I feel pretty good about bringing the DuPont Chevrolet home in fourth.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. rallied from starting 31st to score his fifth top-10 finish of the season. The driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet finished eighth and ranks 13th in the driver standings— only three points outside of the top 12, which is the cutoff for the Chase.
“I think it is a good start to a turning point,” Earnhardt said. “I like running here, and I traditionally feel like I am a top-10 here every time I show up. We worked on the car and felt like where we ended practice was a good spot. The car was really fast at the start of the race. The first run not so good, but the second run, we really got going. We started adjusting on it and we just lost that little pep it had that drove it up to the top-10. But, it was still good enough to hang on. We kept skipping back and forth over the balance of the car from tight to loose on those last couple of adjustments. Just couldn’t get the car like it was when it was really good right before the middle of the race.”
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 CARQUEST Auto Parts/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, was making his 775th Cup start and crossed the finish line 21st. Martin remains 11th in the driver standings.