Jimmie Johnson Wins 5th Consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Title

Jimmie Johnson drives and writes history every chance he gets. The man has just clinched his 5th consecutive title in the most important racing championship in North America, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, being the first driver in history to achieve that feat. The Hendrick Motorsports driver finished the season finale at Homestead in 2nd place and, thanks to a poor 14th place from title rival Denny Hamlin, managed to once again defend his Sprint Cup crown.

Johnson tackled the Homestead race with a 15-point deficit from Hamlin and hoped to take care of that with a win in Florida. Instead he was beaten to the finish line by Carl Edwards, while the other title contender last weekend Kevin Harvick, who still had mathematical chances of clinching the Sprint Cup title, had to settle for 3rd place.

Four [titles] was amazing, now I have to figure out what the hell to say about winning five of these things because everybody is going to want to know what it means,” said Johnson after securing his 5th title in the series, putting him alongside legendary names of the sport Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Additionally, he is now even on Sprint Cup titles with Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon.

We really didn't talk about much on the radio, but I could see in the mirror where the guys were - where Kevin was and where the #11 [Hamlin] was. When he got in front of me and was two spots in front of me, I thought, 'Man, it's going to be tough now.'”

I expected them to be there, but we had a restart or two and we went forward and they went backward and off it went. [Crew chief] Chad [Knaus] made some great adjustments on the car and we were up there chasing Carl around and put in a great finish there in second.”

Hamlin's weekend was full of ups and downs. After qualifying 37th on the grid, the Joe Gibbs racer experienced some damage to his car early in the race, trying to pass Greg Biffle. Despite having to pit for repairs, Hamlin managed to get back into title contention later on, only to fall one lap down late in the race due to a pit stop under green.

If Johnson spent the entire afternoon inside the Top 10, Hamlin had to really work his way through the pack. However, his last pit stop was enough to kill his title efforts.

Obviously I'm disappointed. Our car just wasn't the same. Our car was lightning fast up until that wreck. When we hit the #16 [Biffle] it just knocked the toe out and the car just didn't drive the same for the rest of the day. We did our best to try to repair it, but it just wasn't as fast as it was before. We were right around the top 10 when that happened. It's just circumstances,” said Hamlin about his missed opportunity to become Sprint Cup champion for the first time in career.
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