Despite using a two tire pit stop under a yellow flag to grab the lead away from Kevin Harvick during last night’s Bojangles' Southern 500, Jimmie Johnson came up short, finishing third after another pair of yellow flags extended the race by 7 more laps. The addition gave Harvick just enough time to regain his top spot.
"Things were really going our way there when we took two tires and got the restart under control and had a good lead there during the Lap 363 restart. Then the caution came out We had to gamble to kind of take a shot at getting a win," Johnson said after the third-place finish. "My crew chief Chad Knaus played it right. We were in the right position. I had no qualms about the two-tire call. It was the right decision under the circumstances. However those two cautions there at the end kept us from getting to Victory Lane" He also acknowledged that Harvick seemed to “have the fastest car all night long."
Johnson, who started 26th, struggled with handling problems during the beginning of the race, but by lap 120 was able to maneuver his No. 48 Chevrolet inside the top 10. Although he has yet to win a race this season, the third place finish was his 3rd top 5 and 5th top 10, placing him number 5 in points heading for the Sprint Cup Series first break.