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Michigan NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson claims third win in four races

Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson scored his first career victory on the two-mile Michigan superspeedway, taking a dominant win after picking a perfect strategy in the late stages

Johnson took the lead with nine laps to go, having got his final pitstop out of the way with 36 laps left while taking four fresh tyres.

He used the new rubber to great effect, and eased his way to the front as those ahead made their final stops under green.

It was Johnson's third win in four weeks, and the fifth Hendrick Motorsports victory on the trot, while six of the top 10 cars had Hendrick engines.

Penske Ford driver Brad Keselowski, who finished third, admitted: "I needed a little more to run with these big-motor cars."

Poleman Kevin Harvick was Johnson's main opposition, but a tardy final stop hampered his bid for the Stewart-Haas Chevy squad, and he had to pass Paul Menard and Keselowski in the closing laps.

Kasey Kahne, who finished fifth, bounced back from an early spin to finish ahead of Hendrick team-mate Jeff Gordon. The four-time champion had a great car in clear air but struggled in traffic.

Behind last week's winner Dale Earnhardt Jr, rookie star Kyle Larson finished eighth despite an early spin that damaged the rear of his Ganassi Chevy. Larson also got penalised for speeding on pit road, but refused to be denied another top-10 finish.

Joey Logano, who led in the middle stages, finished ninth and blamed a poor final restart for miring him in traffic.

Results - 200 laps:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                     Time/Gap
 1.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet       2h47m19.000s
 2.  Kevin Harvick       Stewart-Haas Chevrolet        +1.214s
 3.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                   +3.064s
 4.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet           +3.755s
 5.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet            +4.112s
 6.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet            +4.762s
 7.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet            +5.789s
 8.  Kyle Larson         Ganassi Chevrolet             +6.012s
 9.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                   +7.692s
10.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                +9.845s
11.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       +12.950s
12.  Jamie McMurray      Ganassi Chevrolet            +15.867s
13.  Kurt Busch          Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       +18.621s
14.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota             +21.147s
15.  Ryan Newman         Childress Chevrolet          +21.645s
16.  Justin Allgaier     HScott Chevrolet             +22.842s
17.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       +24.285s
18.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Penske Ford                  +24.914s
19.  Trevor Bayne        Wood Brothers Ford           +28.582s
20.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford            +29.128s
21.  Michael Annett      Baldwin Chevrolet              -1 lap
22.  AJ Allmendinger     JTG Daugherty Chevrolet        -1 lap
23.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford              -1 lap
24.  Casey Mears         Germain Chevrolet              -1 lap
25.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                     -1 lap
26.  David Gilliland     Front Row                     -2 laps
27.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford             -2 laps
28.  Cole Whitt          BK Toyota                     -2 laps
29.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota              -2 laps
30.  Austin Dillon       Childress Chevrolet           -2 laps
31.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                    -3 laps
32.  Reed Sorenson       Baldwin Chevrolet             -3 laps
33.  Josh Wise           Parsons Chevrolet             -3 laps
34.  Brett Moffitt       Robinson Toyota               -3 laps
35.  Landon Cassill      Hillman Chevrolet             -3 laps
36.  JJ Yeley            Xxtreme Chevrolet             -3 laps
37.  Martin Truex Jr     Furniture Row Chevrolet       -4 laps
38.  David Ragan         Front Row                     -4 laps
39.  David Stremme       Circle Sport Chevrolet        -5 laps
40.  Alex Bowman         BK Toyota                    -31 laps*
41.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota             -31 laps
42.  Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota               -90 laps

* Not running at finish

Retirements:

     Travis Kvapil       FAS Lane Ford                 23 laps

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