Jimmie Johnson thought he had saved enough fuel to win Sunday's LifeLock 400.
He was wrong.
Trying to conserve gas and stay ahead of second-place Greg Biffle at the same time, Johnson overtaxed his fuel supply and ran out as he approached the white flag signifying the start of the final lap.
“What do you do?” said Johnson, who led 146 of 200 laps. “We raced hard. We led the most laps. At a time when it's tough to pass guys on big tracks, we went up there and passed the #5 (race winner Mark Martin) and passed the #16 (Biffle, who was leading at the time).
“So on the bright side of things, I'm really happy with the performance we had, and we really closed the gap on these guys here at Michigan (where Johnson has never won), but unfortunately, we didn't win. It's part of it. We'll take our lumps and go to the next one.”
In a move whose flavour was reminiscent of Carl Edwards' sprint to the finish line after wrecking on the final lap at Talladega in April, Johnson nursed his car around the track, stopped at his pit stall for fuel and weaved his way through a crowd at victory lane — and past Martin's winning car — to complete the final lap in 22nd place.
“Oh, yes, I did,” Johnson said. “There were people running out of the way, but I did finish the race.”
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News