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Johnson left frustrated again

That Jimmie Johnson ran out fuel after dominating the Michigan race in June was no reason to avoid fuel strategy again when NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series returned to Michigan International Speedway in August.

The problem was that the win-or-bust mentality of Johnson's #48 team didn't work any better in Sunday's Carfax 400 than it had two months earlier, when Johnson ran out of fuel and finished 22nd after leading 146 of the 200 laps.

In Sunday's race, Johnson led 133 laps but finished even worse - 33rd - after running out of gas on lap 198. But for Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus, there was little downside to the gamble because Johnson, for practical purposes, is a lock to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Nevertheless, Johnson ended the race aggravated by a track at which he has never won, while Brian Vickers saved enough fuel to take the chequered flag.

“I'm certainly frustrated,” Johnson said, “We've won one race on fuel mileage - ever - and it's just not what we're good at. You really have no clue if you've saved much. I ran around half-throttle and thought 'shoot, I must have saved enough'. ”

Knaus didn't want to settle for anything less than a win.

“Here's the deal,” he explained, “When you lead all the laps, when you get to the end, you don't want to just fall back and settle for a fifth- or sixth-place finish. That's not what we wanted to do. Fortunately enough, we're in a position where, if it had worked out, we would have been great. It would have been a storybook ending for us - but unfortunately, it didn't work out.”

by Reid Spencer / Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service



Related Pictures

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Brian Vickers passes fuel-starved Jimmie Johnson for the lead at Michigan   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, qualifies for tenth position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, leads Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Great Lakes Flooring/Menards Toyota, during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Great Lakes Flooring/Menards Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 JEGS Toyota, race during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 race, at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, leads the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, does a burn out after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Coopers Stardard Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 race, at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15, 2015 in Lexington, Ohio. (Picture Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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M.J.B. - Unregistered

August 18, 2009 5:45 AM

Nice try Chad...Ya win some, and you lose some. Sometimes you just have a bit of of a bad streak...Don't lose hope in a gas milage race Jimmy!! You just got to sit down and figger it out :? like Mark Martan and Brian Vickers did. It's what makes you a champion. Oh, by the way, go #88!!!



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