Texas 500: Jimmie Johnson wins, extends lead over Brad Keselowski
The Chase intensity heats up with just two races remaining on the schedule
FORT WORTH, Texas — Brad Keselowski compares late-race restarts to a game of rock-paper-scissors.
“There's always a strategy to counteract your strategy,” he said. “Eventually, you're going to lose them. It's just a matter of time.”
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Keselowski won the restart game twice in the last 20 laps of the AAA Texas 500, but he lost the important one, and ended up watching Jimmie Johnson win the race Sunday night at Texas Motor Speedway to extend his Chase for the Sprint Cup lead to seven points with two races to go.
Johnson added five points to his lead, winning from the pole and leading the most laps to take a seven-point advantage with him next week to Phoenix International Raceway, a track where he has won four times in his career.
But the Chase battle reached a new level of competition in the final few laps Sunday, with Johnson and Keselowski racing each other harder for the win than they have throughout the previous seven races.
“That's the first time that we've engaged at that level and raced each other that hard,” Johnson said. “I was a little shocked by (Keselowski's) commitment into Turn 1. The No. 2 car was coming up the track and took us both into the fourth and fifth lane. Fortunately we didn't crash and didn't lose a spot on the racetrack.
“I knew he was serious about the race lead prior to that, and that took it to a new level.”
Keselowski knew he came incredibly close to causing a wreck.
“I felt lucky to survive that one,” he said. “That's just not the way you want to win a race, and not the way I want to win a championship.”
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