The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Auto Racing

May 26, 2014

Johnson ends drought at Coca-Cola 600

CONCORD, N.C. — About the only one not worried about Jimmie Johnson's victory drought this season was the Sprint Cup defending champion. After his dominating show this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Johnson gave his competitors plenty to worry about.

Johnson reached Victory Lane for the first time this season at the Coca-Cola 600, finishing off a dominating week at a track many have called "Jimmie's House."

"It's great to win, but believe me, and I promise you, all the hype and all the concern and worry, that was elsewhere. That wasn't in my head," Johnson said.

Now, Johnson can think about his record-breaking seventh Cup win at Charlotte, about his 13th straight NASCAR season with a victory or about his fourth 600 victory to trail only Darrell Waltrip's five in the series' longest race. And maybe throw a scare into opponents that Johnson's run at the top isn't over yet.

"They know we are awake," Johnson said. "Hopefully, the 48 is heading that way and we can give other people something to think about."

This time, Johnson swept past Matt Kenseth nine laps from the end and was never pressured after that. Johnson earned the pole Thursday night, was strong at practice Saturday and led 165 of 400 laps Sunday.

Kevin Harvick was second. Kenseth finished third with Carl Edwards fourth. Jamie McMurray, the All-Star race winner last weekend at the track, was fifth.

Kurt Busch's attempt at motorsports history ended with 129 laps to go when he blew an engine. Busch finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 but could not complete the 600 and become just the second racer ever — Tony Stewart was the first — to navigate all 1,100 miles on auto racing's biggest weekend.

Harvick had won two of the past three 600s and led 100 laps this time. He fell back in the latter stages as he dealt with car problems and could not get back to the front.

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