Johnson Hits The Triple at Las Vegas

New track configuration, same old results for Jimmie Johnson.

The defending series champion beat teammate Jeff Gordon on Sunday to win his third consecutive Nextel Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Only this one came under extremely different conditions on a reconfigured race track that gave everyone fits.

"This track was a different challenge for us, no doubt about it," said Johnson, who led Gordon across the finish line for a 1-2 finish that gave Hendrick Motorsports its 150th NASCAR victory.

Johnson suffered a pit-road penalty and a slight bounce off the wall, but otherwise had few problems navigating his way around the track that was under intense scrutiny all weekend because of changes owner Bruton Smith made to the 1.5-mile speedway.

The changes included an increase in the banking from 12 degrees to 20, and a curved pit lane unlike anything the drivers had seen before. Because the new surface produced such fast speeds, Goodyear had to bring a very hard left-side tire that was capable of withstanding the loads.

by Michael Cash - thespread.com - Email Us

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