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SCS: Johnson wins at Atlanta

(MRN) Jimmie Johnson pulled away from the field on an overtime restart Sunday and was first to the white flag as a four-car accident unfolded along the backstretch – ending the race under caution and leaving Johnson with his seventy-sixth career win that ties the late Dale Earnhardt for seventh place all-time. Most of the race was caution-free with just one yellow flag in the first 323 laps. With Johnson in the lead less than two laps from completion of the scheduled distance, Ryan Newman’s spin brought out just the second caution of the day that would force overtime. Johnson pushed his Number-48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in front of Kyle Busch coming out of the final restart, and put some distance between himself and the defending series champion before the day’s final caution ended the race. Dale Earnhardt Junior finished second, giving Hendrick Motorsports a sweep of the top two spots. Busch finished third, one position ahead of older brother Kurt – who had started from the pole. Carl Edwards completed the top five … Kevin Harvick started sixth and led a race-high 131 laps before settling for sixth place. Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin finished sixteenth in his bid to become the first driver with back-to-back season-opening victories in the Sprint Cup Series since Matt Kenseth in 2009 … Chase Elliott was the highest-finishing rookie in the forty-car field, running eighth … Sunday’s race marked the debut of NASCAR’s 2016 low-downforce rules package. It produced twenty-eight lead changes, identical to last year’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

Top 10 Finishers in the Folds of Honor Quik-Trip 500

DRIVER    STARTING POSITION    LAPS LED

1.    Jimmie Johnson    (19)    52

2.    Dale Earnhardt Jr.    (16)    —

3.    Kyle Busch    (39)    2

4.    Kurt Busch    (Pole)    62

5.    Carl Edwards    (7)    1

6.    Kevin Harvick    (6)    131

7.    Martin Truex Jr.    (9)    34

8.    Chase Elliott (R)    (24)    —

9.    Brad Keselowski    (17)    —

10.    Ricky Stenhouse Jr.     (5)    —

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

Unofficial Point Standings

After 2 Races

DRIVER     POINTS    BEHIND LEADER

1.    Kyle Busch    78    —-

2.    Martin Truex Jr.    75    -3

3.     Kevin Harvick    74    -4

4.     Carl Edwards    73    -5

5.     Denny Hamlin    70    -8

Jimmie Johnson     70    -8

7.    Kurt Busch    69    -9

8.     Joey Logano    64    -14

9.     Austin Dillon    63    -15

10.    Aric Almirola    55    -23

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH’s News & Sports Director since 2000.
In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys’ and girls’ basketball and baseball.
Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA.
Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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