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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 Chevrolet SS, qualified for sixth position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/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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