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Kansas recap: Johnson, Gordon in top five, improve in standings

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 3, 2010) – Jimmie Johnson, the four-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, used a second-place finish in Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway to take the lead in the driver standings.

Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s/Johns Manville Chevrolet, leads the championship standings by eight points with seven races remaining in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. On Sunday, Johnson lined up 21st and steadily worked his way through the field on the strength of strong runs and solid pit stops.

“To come through a poor qualifying effort and fight for track position all day long and get second at the end was really cool,” Johnson said. “I’m glad we had the finish we did. There’s still a lot of racing left, but we’re doing the right things. We’re making bad weekends good weekends. Although we dominated and won (at Dover (Del.) International Speedway last weekend), we didn’t have what we wanted leaving practice yesterday. We didn’t have what we wanted for the first half of the race. But we kept working on the car and made it better. I can’t thank (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) and all these guys on this Lowe’s car enough for their hard work and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports for giving us the tools to go to the racetrack.”

Gordon joined his teammate in the top five with a fifth-place finish and improved three positions in the standings to fifth. He led three times for 29 laps during Sunday’s 400-mile event.

“This track has been good to us,” Gordon said. “We were hoping for a little bit more than that with the way things went all weekend long. The way the race started, we were pretty optimistic but we were just missing a little bit there. We lost some track position. I just give a lot of credit to this DuPont Chevrolet team there at the end. Great pit stops. Good adjustments that brought us back up in the top five so that was a great finish.”

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, lined up 28th and ran as high as fifth before crossing the finish line 14th.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. started Sunday’s contest in 20th and worked through handling issues with his team. He finished 22nd in his No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet.

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