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Johnson and Matt Kenseth entered the race tied atop the standings, but Kenseth finished fourth, dropping him seven points behind Johnson with just two races remaining in the 10-race Chase.

Johnson teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second, followed by Joey Logano, Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.

With Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and others have trouble at Texas, the Chase is now a two-man battle between Johnson and Kenseth. Harvick is third in the standings, but trails by 40 points. Gordon, who crashed, fell to to sixth, 69 points back. Busch, who also wrecked and had a speeding penalty, is fourth, 52 points behind.

Johnson proved how fast his car was when he encountered his own adversity on Lap 240. Johnson had a slow, green-flag pit stop, costing him the lead and dropping him to sixth on the track.

But it took him less than 20 laps to track down leader Brad Keselowski and regain the lead.

“The 48 is special, man,” Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. said as Johnson zoomed past him on his way to the front.

During the next caution period, Johnson’s team made up for its mistake, getting Johnson off pit road first to allow him to maintain the lead and pull away over the final green-flag run. 

The race featured several dramatic twists and turns, especially among Chase drivers.

First Kyle Busch slapped the wall on Lap 57, damaging the right side of his car and forcing him to pit for repairs. Busch’s team reported extensive tire wear on his car.


Less than 20 laps later, Jeff Gordon had a tire problem and slammed the wall, severely damaging his car and sending him to the garage for 185 laps. Gordon entered the race third in points.

"It’s just devastating," Gordon said in the garage.

Then Kenseth was running second and tracking down Johnson when he was nabbed for speeding during a green-flag pit stop, forcing him to pit for a penalty and dropping him to 16th on the track.

Busch had more problems late in the race, getting a speeding penalty after pitting under green with just 36 laps remaining. He had rallied from his early crash and was running third when he hit pit road.

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