FORT WORTH, Texas – Jimmie Johnson entered this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway as the all-time winningest driver at the track.
Sunday afternoon, he extended his lead.
Johnson earned his seventh win at Texas, giving Hendrick Motorsports its first win of the 2017 season in the process.
"I guess I remembered how to drive and I guess this team remembered how to do it," Johnson joked. "I'm so proud of the fight in this race team."
Two of his teammates joined him inside the top 10, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. earning his first top-five finish of the season in fifth and Chase Elliott notching his fifth top-10 finish of the year in ninth place.
Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS experienced a broken axle with 42 laps to go but the driver was able to return to the track prior to the checkered flag, finishing 38th.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Kahne started from the rear of the field in a backup No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, but by the end of Stage 1, he was already inside the top 15, and he maintained that position after Stage 2. Heading to pit road before the final segment, Kahne found himself outside of the top 20 in 24th on Lap 182. He found the top 20 once again on Lap 215 and continued to push his way forward through two segments of green-flag pit stops. With 44 laps to go, Kahne was running 17th, but two laps later a broken axle forced Kahne behind the wall to the garage. It was not due to contact with the wall or a competitor, so after the No. 5 team repaired the damage, Kahne was able to return to the track with a little more than 10 laps remaining. He took the checkered flag 38th.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Starting Sunday’s race in 33rd place, Elliott quickly raced his way to the verge of the top 10 following Stage 1. He kept that momentum going, finishing Stage 2 in fifth. He headed to pit road prior to the start of the final stage, and on Lap 182 he was outside the top 15. But by Lap 215, he had jumped all the way back to ninth. Following a cycle of green-flag pit stops, Elliott had moved up to eighth, and one more set of green-flag stops saw him gain another spot to seventh with 44 laps to go. He restarted 10th following a caution with 35 laps to go and gained a position prior to the checkered flag, finishing ninth.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Starting from the rear of the field after taking new tires due to a spin in qualifying, Johnson raced all the way to 11th before the green-checkered flag ending Stage 1. In Stage 2, he continued pushing toward the front, finishing the second segment in the runner-up position. After heading to pit road before the final segment, Johnson found himself in 17th on Lap 182. He raced ahead, finding 11th by Lap 215. As competitors headed to pit road for a cycle of green-flag pit stops, Johnson moved up to second before pitting. He was inside the top 10 once the field cycled through, and when he stayed on the track as another round of green-flag stops began, he moved into the race lead for the first time. After pitting, he had enough speed to jump all the way back to second with 44 laps to go as the field cycled through. When a caution flag flew with 35 laps to go, Johnson took two tires and restarted third as a competitor stayed off of pit road for the restart. He quickly moved into second when the green flag waved and began tracking down the leader. With 16 laps to go, Johnson made his move, sprinting to the race lead. He held off all competitors to take the checkered flag and earn a trip to Victory Lane.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Rolling off the grid 37th, Earnhardt drove through the field to finish Stage 1 inside the top 15. That race to the front continued in Stage 2, as he finished the segment in ninth. After staying off of pit road before the final segment, he restarted in third and had moved into second by Lap 215. Five laps later, he headed to pit road for a green-flag stop, and when the field cycled through, he had settled into third once again. The final segment featured long stretches of green-flag racing, and after another cycle of stops, Earnhardt was in fourth with 44 laps to go. The No. 88 team elected to take two tires during a caution with 35 laps to go, and he restarted sixth but quickly moved back inside the top five when the green flag waved. He maintained his position and crossed the finish line fifth, his first top-five result of the season.