Loudon, N.H. — He’s back. Jimmie Johnson recovered from a late bump-draft by Kurt Busch and reclaimed the lead with two laps left, to win The LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, went wheel-to-wheel with Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch in another exciting short track battle. Johnson captured his fifth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 2010.
“I was very, very proud of our race team and their performance and finally got to the front in time for the win,” said Johnson.
Crew Chief Chad Knaus shared his love for NHMS: “I’m real happy to be up here in Loudon. It’s an awesome, awesome race track. I really love racing up here, it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it.”
Johnson’s crew had to fight through a troublesome pit stop early in the race, when they lost six seconds to the leaders. The team also had to be prepared for the possibility that Johnson was not going to stay behind the wheel. He and his wife Chandra are expecting their first child any day and had backup driver Aric Almirola on standby.
“It all depends on when the little baby decides to make her move and come into the world. If she’s anything like her mother she’ll be late, so I should be fine,” joked Johnson.
Driving the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet, Tony Stewart surged through the field during the last laps of the race after spending most of the day in the middle of the pack. Stealing a second place finish, Stewart notched his 14th top-10 finish in 23 races at “The Magic Mile.” He relied on a late race caution to get back up front, after an out-of-cycle pit schedule kept him behind all day.
Third place finisher, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, Kurt Busch traded paint with Johnson in the closing laps. He took his 10th top-10 finish in 19 races at NHMS.
Pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya led throughout the beginning of the day, but did not fare well in the end. He spun out with just 20 laps to go.
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Source: Kristen Costa/New Hampshire Motor Speedway PR