Johnson Closes In on 4th Title after Phoenix Win

Jimmie Johnson managed to increase his lead in the Chase to 108 points, after clinching the first place during the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. His win came after a crushing 238 of 312 laps lead, making the Homestead race next weekend only a formality, as he needs to finish 25 or better to get the title.

"First of all, I have to thank this race team for having the strength and mental attitude and everything that they do to bounce back from last week and show up and just put a butt-kicking on everybody," Johnson said according to NASCAR.

"At the start of the race, we were a little loose but still running second or third. As soon as we put new tires on, the car came to life. We made a couple of small adjustments that really, really helped it, and I could get out to a nice comfortable lead, ride, protect what I had, work my way through traffic - not with ease, but better than other guys."

Despite his somewhat comfortable lead, Johnson plans to go aggressive at Homestead, in the hope that a good position on the grid after the qualifying may help him avoid a Texas-like disaster.

"I think qualifying 12th - even though that's a good qualifying spot - put us in harm's way, and I was a little cautious, maybe, in qualifying," Johnson added. "We need to show up down there and treat it like any other race."

"I can't put my guard down. Anything and everything can go wrong."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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