L&T Motorsport


Jimmie Johnson showed once again why he loves Charlotte Motor Speedway as he took his 8th Sprint Cup win at the track, and the 78th of his career, booking his place in the next round of the Chase and snapping a winless streak dating back to March.

Johnson came to the fore in the second half of the race, and led 155 laps on the way towards an important win when many of his rivals had major problems, passing Matt Kenseth on the final restart to win by just over a second.

5 of the 12 drivers still in contention for the 2016 championship saw their chances take a major blow in the Bank of America 500. Chase Elliott had dominated the early stages of the race, leading over 100 laps as he looked to break his Sprint Cup duck. However, he was caught up in a wreck when Austin Dillon was spun around by Martin Truex Jr on a restart, leaving Dillon in the wall hard, and the 24 in the wall as well after being hit by Kyle Busch in avoidance.

Earlier, two other contenders had also been forced to go to the garage. Kevin Harvick had a mysterious electrical power failure, whilst almost at the same time, Joey Logano suffered a flat tire, spearing him off into the wall at high speed.

Finally, Denny Hamlin had been battling Jimmie Johnson for the lead late in the race when, with no prior warning, his engine blew-up in spectacular fashion, reminiscent of Lewis Hamilton in Malaysia, meaning that he was also forced to watch the conclusion of the race from the pits.

Because of this, any Chase driver who did finish the race had a good day, as they all finished in the top 13. Behind Johnson, Kenseth came home in 2nd, whilst Kasey Kahne was delighted with 3rd. Ryan Newman drove a much needed good race in 4th, whilst Kyle Larson bounced back from the heartbreak of his Chase exit in 5th.

Kyle Busch salvaged 6th following heavy damage from when he hit Elliott. Brad Keselowski had an up and down day on his way to 7th, whilst Kurt Busch finished 8th. Rounding out the top 10 were Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray, who just denied Danica Patrick her first top 10 of the season on the final lap.

Problems for nearly half of the Chasers should mean that next week’s race in Kansas will be a thriller, as these teams look to find the win that they need to secure their place in the Eliminator Round.

Image – NASCAR.com

Top 10 Results 2016 Chase Standings
1.       Jimmie Johnson

2.       Matt Kenseth

3.       Kasey Kahne

4.       Ryan Newman

5.       Kyle Larson

6.       Kyle Busch

7.       Brad Keselowski

8.       Kurt Busch

9.       Tony Stewart

10.     Jamie McMurray

Jimmie Johnson – Qualified

Matt Kenseth +31

Kyle Busch +27

Brad Keselowski +25

Kurt Busch +24

Carl Edwards +20

Martin Truex Jr +19

Denny Hamlin +3

Austin Dillon -3

Chase Elliott -3

Joey Logano -6

Kevin Harvick -8


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