Johnson beats Busch brothers

With a $30,000 (U.S.) bonus tucked inside his pocket, Jimmie Johnson headed to the casino to celebrate his latest victory.
If he can run the tables the same way he’s running the Nextel Cup series, he might just break the bank.
Johnson ended the Roush Racing stranglehold at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, spoiling what could have been a banner day for hometown boys Kurt and Kyle Busch by beating them both to win the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.
Johnson, who won for the 15th time in his career, has victories in five of the last nine races dating to last season. He hasn’t finished worse than sixth since October and this victory put him right back where he spent most of last season—on top of the points standings.
“I can have a little fun at the blackjack table tonight,” Johnson said of the bonus that comes with earning the points lead. “But I’m not concerned about the points lead yet.”
Johnson won a series-high eight races last season—only to fall eight points shy of winning the title. But he’s come charging out of the gate this year, with a fifth-place finish in the season-opening event at Daytona and a runner-up finish in California.
This latest victory helped Hendrick Motorsports claim a piece of the track in the desert that Roush Racing has dominated with five victories in the first seven races.
But with Johnson and Hendrick teammates Kyle Busch finishing second and Jeff Gordon fourth, the Roush dominance is over. Kurt Busch carried the Roush flag with a third-place finish.
After the race, NASCAR said the roof of Johnson’s Chevrolet was too low in post-race inspection and Kyle Busch, who finished second, had a car that came in too high on the rear quarter panel.
NASCAR did not announce immediate penalties, but could dock points from both drivers next week. If Johnson loses any points, Kurt Busch would take over the lead in the standings.
Johnson was strong the entire race—leading a race-high 107 laps as he seemed to coast toward the victory. The only trouble he had was passing a lapped car with under 20 laps to go.
It allowed Kyle Busch, a 19-year-old rookie, to close the gap on the leader while big brother, Kurt, the reigning Nextel Cup champion, also moved within striking distance.
But lapped traffic soon got in the way of the Busch brothers—preventing them from challenging Johnson for the win. Johnson cruised to victory, beating Kyle to the line by several car lengths.
“It was a great performance for the Hendricks,” Johnson said. “Right now both the Hendrick cars and the Roush cars, you can see the hard work they put in over the winter.
“They’ve got one win and we’ve got [two].”
Gordon won the season-opening Daytona 500 while Roush driver Greg Biffle won in California.
As Johnson was driving his Chevrolet to Victory Lane, Kyle Busch was treasuring his second-place finish.
“This is as good as a win as far as I’m concerned,” he yelled to his crew.
“I had a bunch of guys put money on me, so it would have been cool to have Jimmie pull over and let us win,” said Kyle, who went off at 60-1 before the race.
“But, hey, next year I’ll probably have a lot lower odds.”