Jimmie Johnson makes it two for three with Las Vegas win

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Jimmie Johnson won his second race of the season Sunday, March 12. He managed to take the checkered in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 in Las Vegas.

Johnson’s only lead came after he passed second-place finisher Matt Kenseth on the final turn during the last lap of the race.

Kenseth dominated the race, leading 146 of the 267 laps, but was unable to hold off Johnson on the only lap that really mattered, as they both raced side-by-side toward the finish line.

In the three races so far this season, Johnson has won two, and finished second in the other. Once again, I remind everyone, he has accomplished this in spite of being without the services of his regular crew chief, Rockford native Chad Knaus.

Johnson continues to lead the season standings by 52 points over Kenseth. Kasey Kahne is in third, 85 points behind Johnson. Casey Mears is only 1 point behind Kahne for fourth place. Mark Martin picked up one spot to move into the top five; he is 110 points behind the leader.

This week’s race will take the teams back to the Eastern Time Zone as they travel to Atlanta for the Golden Corral 500 Sunday, March 19. Can Johnson make it three out of four? Trying to keep him from doing so will be last year’s winner, Carl Edwards.

Edwards would like nothing more than to win his first race of this season by repeating last year’s performance at Atlanta. Not only will Johnson have to keep an eye on Edwards, I’m sure he’ll have Kenseth breathing down his neck as well. Kenseth won on this track in the fall of 2004.

Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

From the March 15-21, 2006, issue

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