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May 05, 2013
Sunday
Team Chevy Driver Jimmie Johnson Scores Top-Five Finish at Talladega and Extends Point Lead
Press Release

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row / Beautyrest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama. - Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row / Beautyrest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama. - Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
TALLADEGA, Ala. – (May 5, 2013) – In a wild scramble to the checkered flag, Jimmie Johnson led the way for Team Chevy by powering his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS to a fifth-place finish in the rain-delayed Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.  It was Johnson’s fifth top-five finish of the season, boosting his lead in the current point standings to 41 markers over second.

In a battle with Mother Nature, the 499-mile race was red-flagged for three hours and 36 minutes due to rain and resumed with 63 laps remaining. While vying for the win in the closing laps, Johnson held the lead during the final green-white-checkered finish; but a mad scramble at the front shuffled him back to fifth place overall.  The race went into overtime, ending in near darkness at 511-miles and 192 laps.

Several Team Chevy drivers were sidelined in two multi-car crashes in today’s event including Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Chevrolet SS who was hit from behind in the first major incident early in the race, and dropped three spots in the standings from third to sixth.  Kurt Busch was looking at a possible top-five finish when his No. 78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS went airborne in a late-race crash and landed on the roof of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS driven by Ryan Newman.

Looking for a weekend sweep, Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race winner Regan Smith, No. 51 Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet SS, came home with a solid sixth-place finish. Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Imron Elite Chevrolet SS, rallied from early issues to finish 11th.  Gordon’s teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, posted a 17th place finish and moved up one position in the standings to third.

David Ragan (Ford) scored the win and his teammate David Gilliland (Ford) was second. Carl Edwards (Ford) was third and Michael Waltrip (Toyota) was fourth to round out the top-five.

The series heads to Darlington Raceway next weekend for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Saturday night, May 11th.  

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED FIFTH

AMAZING RACING HERE AT TALLADEGA. WHAT WAS IT LIKE DURING THE LAST FEW LAPS FROM YOUR SEAT?

“Well, I thought that between the No. 99 (Carl Edwards) and the No. 20 (Matt Kenseth) and ourselves and the No. 51 (Regan Smith) that we would settle the race between us. And then, the No. 34 (David Regan) and the No. 38 (David Gilliland); I was racing the No. 38 earlier and he had plenty of speed, but they came up on us so fast that I could see Carl (Edwards) trying to block and he finally said there’s no real way to block the speed that they’re bringing. Those two had blown by and David had made it back to the checkered flag. So, it’s really cool for that team.  It was obviously a very good day for our Lowe’s Chevrolet. We had a very fast car and I felt like we were a player all day long, and that’s awesome.” 

REGAN SMITH, NO. 51 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SIXTH

TAKE US THROUGH THE LAST FEW LAPS THAT YOU SAW:
“Well the last few laps I didn’t see much it was pretty dark.  Happy for the guys on the Hendrickcars.com Chevy Phoenix Racing, it was a good day for them.  A little disappointed.  That last restart we were on the bottom and our car just didn’t work on the bottom at all for whatever reason.  It just kept stalling out.  I stayed down there to try and help Jimmie (Johnson) and give him a shove so we could get up there and battle it out.  I just couldn’t give him a big enough push to clear guys at the right time.  I kept getting stalled out by the cars on the outside.  Still a good day, still proud of the effort by the team and you know go to the next one.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 17TH
ON THE GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED RESTART AND FINISH: 
“We were on that inside lane and weren’t going forward. We were going backwards. Everybody was going by on the outside, and when it’s three- and four-wide, you can’t really go up. I don’t know.”

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE RACING?
“I don’t really know. We didn’t have a car that I felt comfortable with. We just didn’t have a good car all day, but – I don’t know – I thought it was alright I guess. What did you guys think?

WAS THIS ONE OF THE LONGEST RACING DAYS THAT YOU CAN REMEMBER?
“Nah, I’m sure there’s been some longer ones.”

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