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Johnson's Vegas jackpot.

Jimmie Johnson led more than a hundred laps and took a deserving victory in an exciting, crash-filled UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

In what may have been the most exciting Nextel Cup race at Las Vegas to date, save for a couple of laps at the tail of the 2004 race, Johnson outclassed the rest of a rambunctious field, leading more than 100 of the 267 laps to take his 15th career Cup win.

Despite Johnson's dominance in the #48 Hendrick Motorsport Chevrolet, the third round of the 2005 Championship gave fans a fine display of close racing through the field, a race that inspires confidence in the new rules package after a jittery start in Fontana two weeks ago.

But even with a clear second, and occasionally a third groove in evidence for much of the day, especially the closing stages, nobody could match Johnson.

Johnson finally got the better of Ryan Newman on lap 213 after a lengthy exchange through several caution periods in which Johnson was stronger on the track, Newman quicker in the pits.

However Johnson's Chad Knaus led crew got it right when it mattered most and kept their man ahead through the final round of stops 40 laps from home.

Once the green flag waved on lap 229 Johnson was able to distance himself from his nearest followers as they squabbled amongst themselves and would eventually lead home rookie teammate and Las Vegas native Kyle Busch by several seconds.

The final 40 laps may have been comfortable for last year's title runner-up, but the preceding 227 certainly weren't on a day that saw both a record number of caution flags (11) and a record number of lead changes (25).

In addition to losing time repairing a damaged side fender, Johnson and his crew were also delayed by the most bizarre pit road incident when a removed lug nut bounced back onto the wheel stud from pit road during a tyre stop.



Related Pictures

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Johnson`s Darlington win keeps him in the title battle going to the finale (Photo: GM Media).
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series #5 Kellogg`s Chevrolet driver Kyle Busch at Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL-2/20/05 ©Dorsey Patrick
2/10/05 Daytona Beach, FL
2004 Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch specks to the press during the annual Media Day at Daytona International Speedway.
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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)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth 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)
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)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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