Team Chevy scored its fifth consecutive win in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing and its ninth of the season after Jimmie Johnson drove his No. 48 Chevrolet SS to a win at Michigan International Speedway Sunday. The six-time Sprint Cup champ has had bad luck at MIS, but after retaking the lead with only nine laps to go, he managed to pull off the win after 25 races total at the track.
“We have figured out every way to lose this race,” Johnson told reporters from Victory Lane. “And today we were able to get it done. A huge thanks to Lowe’s and KOBALT and all the employees at Lowe’s. Thanks to Chevrolet, and the fans, and my fans. I’m excited to win on Father’s Day, having my family here, and having the boss here and for Chevrolet to win in their own backyard. We need to switch that stat where that other brand wins too much here and we need to get the bowtie more victories here. Just a lot of things to be happy for.”
Chevrolet was probably rather pleased walking away from the race at its home track, with seven of the top 10 positions occupied by bowtie-brand drivers. Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished second, while Paul Menard followed close behind, finishing fourth in the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet SS. Ford driver Brad Keselowski occupied the third podium spot.
Team Chevy driver Kasey Kahne rallied back to a fifth place finish after getting involved in a small crash early on in the race, while Jeff Gordon finished sixth, helping him maintain his overall series lead by 15 points over MIS winner Johnson.
Rookie of the year contender and Team Chevy driver Kyle Larson almost put an end to his day after losing control in turn 2 along with Kasey Kahne and Regan Smith. However despite a damaged front end, Larson quickly made up for lost ground and ran in the top 10 for much of the race before finishing eighth overall.
The next leg of the Sprint Cup Series will present an additional challenge for drivers as they race on the 2.52-mile, 12-turn road course at Sonoma Raceway in California on June 22nd.