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Last week, Jimmie Johnson took home a top-10 finish. Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, he made it a top-five result in a return to his familiar blue Lowe’s paint scheme. Earlier this week, Johnson announced that Lowe's agreed to change his paint scheme from primarily white to primarily blue, and the change resulted in his seventh top-five finish of the season.
A sixth-place start for Johnson allowed the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS to settle in to a top-five running position early in the race. By Lap 15 he was in fourth position, and that’s where he remained until a competition caution at Lap 60. A speeding penalty on pit road caused Johnson to move to the back of the pack, but another caution on Lap 68 allowed him to move up to the back of the lead lap. At Lap 90 he was up to 23rd position and was moving in the right direction, getting to 18th by Lap 112.
Johnson was given another speeding penalty on pit road after a caution at Lap 125, which put him in 26th as the last car on the lead lap. He quickly moved up the leaderboard, however, getting to 15th by Lap 185 and all the way to third on a Lap-201 restart following a caution. He remained in the top 10 for the majority of the remainder of the race. At Lap 337 he moved into third place, and even with a pit stop for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment during a caution, he restarted with 133 laps to go in third thanks to a quick performance by the No. 48 Lowe’s pit crew. With 63 laps to go, he restarted in ninth place, and he continued passing cars, taking the checkered flag in fourth.
QUOTING JIMMIE: “Top-fives are good. We are happy about that for this Lowe’s team. We had some issues on pit road and got nailed for speeding twice which was totally on us. Just mistakes made there that kind of hurt us a little bit but still finished fourth.”
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS FINISHES: Jeff Gordon was next of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers, taking the checkered flag in 16th after fighting through tire rub early in the race. Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. weren’t as lucky, as both battled damage to their cars. Kahne was able to finish the race, while Earnhardt headed to the garage early. They finished 35th and 39th, respectively.
NEXT UP: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sunday August 31 at 7pm ET.