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Johnson leaves it late in Vegas.

Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson scored win number two in the still young 2006 season with a sensational last corner pass on Matt Kenseth to win Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

In a race largely devoid of excitement, Johnson took advantage of a green white chequered flag finish and some ignition problems for long-time race leader Kenseth to sweep around the outside of the Fontana winner in turn four on the final lap and narrowly edge a drag race to the line.

Until the last caution flag, which extended the race from 267 to 270 laps, Kenseth looked odds on for his second Nextel Cup win of the season after dominating the race for nearly 150 laps. However an inexplicable loss of power for the final two laps left him easy prey for a hungry Johnson, who went on to successfully defend his 2005 Las Vegas title.

Last year's Las Vegas runner up Kyle Busch finished a close third with Saturday's Busch race winner Kasey Kahne fourth and Jeff Gordon fifth.

Reigning Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's day took a turn for the worse inside the final 20 laps when he made contact with Kyle Busch and eventually suffered a flat tyre, which dropped him to 21st while Dale Earnhardt Jr was on course for another solid top 15 finish until a late penalty for speeding on pit road dropped him to 27th.

With two wins and a second place finish from three starts, Johnson unsurprisingly holds a sizeable advantage at the head of the points table, now leading Kenseth by more than 50 points with only Kahne and Casey Mears within 100 points.


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