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Jimmie Johnson claims fourth victory in NASCAR's Brickyard 400

Jimmie Johnson wins at IndianapolisJimmie Johnson dominated on the way to his fourth Brickyard 400 win and his third NASCAR Sprint Cup points-paying victory of the season.

The four-time Cup champion claimed the lead following the first round of pitstops, overtaking polesitter Denny Hamlin as they were leaving pit road. Once ahead, only pitstops and strategy gambles from Penske's Brad Keselowski and Roush Fenway's Greg Biffle led to any lead changes.

Johnson eventually got back to the front for good shortly after the final round of stops, overtaking Biffle's Ford with 29 laps remaining after the Roush Fenway driver had jumped ahead thanks to a two-tyre pitstop.

During the long green-flag stretch to the chequered flag following the last caution, Johnson was able to stretch his lead up to 4.7 seconds, the biggest ever margin of victory in the Brickyard 400.

Hendrick Motorsports' Jeff Gordon was the only driver who looked capable of getting on equal terms with Johnson but a poor final stop caused him to lose track position and hampered his attempt to prevent his team-mate from matching his four Brickyard wins.

Besides Gordon, Johnson joins AJ Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears and Michael Schumacher, as one of only six drivers who have claimed four or more wins in major races at Indianapolis.

"I'm able to join racing legends, my heroes and people that I've looked up to during my entire life, so to join them is a huge honour," said Johnson.

"I knew second or third lap yesterday on the track that we were going to have an awful good chance of winning. The confidence that I had helped us through practice yesterday.

"There were a couple of moments where adjustments didn't work and I lost a little pace but I had a feeling and I knew we were going to be fine."

Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch was a contender at the front for most of the race and recovered well from trouble during an early pitstop after the engine on his #18 Toyota shut off to finish second.

Biffle's strategy gamble alone was not good enough to win him the race, yet he had enough speed to finish in the top three despite an oversteering car and his grip deficit relative to other frontrunners.

Dale Earnhardt Jr finished fourth and claimed the lead in the points standings following a retirement from Matt Kenseth. The Roush driver crashed with Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano, who was sliding out of control in front of him after previous contact, causing the fifth and final caution of the day.

Gordon rounded out the top five, which was little consolation after having the potential to claim a record fifth win at Indianapolis. Early race leader Hamlin finished sixth after starting from pole and getting shuffled back during an early restart.

Keselowski stayed out when the leaders pitted for a second time and ran out of sequence for a while to lead 22 laps until getting back on the same strategy as Johnson and Gordon in the closing stages. However, contact during a restart with Regan Smith dropped him out of contention for victory.

Results - 160 laps:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                         Time/Gap
 1.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet           2h54m19.000s
 2.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota                 + 4.758s
 3.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford                + 7.813s
 4.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet               + 8.336s
 5.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet              + 10.230s
 6.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota                + 10.782s
 7.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet          + 12.654s
 8.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota                  + 13.114s
 9.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Dodge                    + 14.028s
10.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet          + 16.117s
11.  Mark Martin         Waltrip Toyota                  + 16.931s
12.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet              + 20.959s
13.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet             + 21.844s
14.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet             + 23.448s
15.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                  + 25.283s
16.  Sam Hornish Jr      Penske Dodge                    + 25.555s
17.  Trevor Bayne        Wood Brothers Ford              + 25.962s
18.  Regan Smith         Furniture Row Chevrolet         + 26.977s
19.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                      + 26.978s
20.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                      + 28.908s
21.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet     + 29.413s
22.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet     + 32.727s
23.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet               + 33.442s
24.  David Stremme       Inception Toyota                + 37.727s
25.  Landon Cassill      BK Toyota                       + 38.044s
26.  Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota            + 41.409s
27.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford                  + 42.237s
28.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford                  + 44.525s
29.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford                + 4 laps
30.  Ken Schrader        FAS Lane Ford                    + 4 laps
31.  Stephen Leicht      Circle Sport Chevrolet           + 6 laps
32.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet              + 9 laps
33.  Joey Logano         Joe Gibbs Toyota                + 16 laps
34.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                    + 23 laps


     Matt Kenseth        Roush Fenway Ford                132 laps
     Kurt Busch          Phoenix Chevrolet                126 laps
     Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                         40 laps
     Scott Speed         Leavine Ford                      23 laps
     JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet                 20 laps
     Josh Wise           Front Row Chevrolet               19 laps
     Scott Riggs         R3 Chevrolet                      14 laps
     Mike Skinner        Go Green Ford                     11 laps
     Mike Bliss          Humphrey Smith Toyota              5 laps
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