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Maximum Points for Jimmie Johnson Cushions Sprint Cup Lead

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(Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship boils down to two in more ways than one.  There are two races left in the season and the top two teams in the standings finished in first and second in Texas.

Last year’s white-knuckle finish between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards was impressive.  This duel between Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski is almost living up to that billing.  However, BK committed a crucial mistake on a pit stop on lap 275 that allowed the Lowe’s crew to pounce.  As a result, Johnson got maximum points and the Deuce is a little bluer by giving one away.

Still, it almost worked out for the Penske bunch.  How about this list of ifs:  If not for a Mark Martin wreck that led to one last restart.  If BK hadn’t locked up the front tires on a pit stop which cost him eight spots.  If a two tire change hadn’t been needed to gain track position.  If Jeff Gordon hadn’t encountered  an untimely tire problem, which could have put a different car in the mix up front.

However without all those variables, it was still mesmerizing to see two shades of blue clanging and banging at 180 miles per hour.  On the second to last restart, Keselowski was seemingly unable to keep the car under control in turn 3 then by the exit of turn 4 BK had it back and he and Johnson were almost conjoined at the flag stand.  One more restart was yet to come and 5-time had the juice to bring it home.

Seven points separate with two races left.  To the desert we go and hopefully the “Jewel of the Desert” will shine next Sunday.

DP

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