Folds of Honor Quick Trip 500 2016: NASCAR winner, recap and results from Atlanta

Feb 28, 2016; Hampton, GA, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) races during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 28, 2016; Hampton, GA, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) races during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

New package, familiar winner. Jimmie Johnson won his second consecutive race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after leading the final laps. Two races into the season, Johnson is virtually locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Johnson’s win gives him 76 for his career, tying him with Dale Earnhardt for seventh on the all-time list. He might never be at the top of that list, but Johnson having his name next to Earnhardt’s on the list is a massive accomplishment.

“It’s such an honor for me,” Johnson said. “There’s a huge void in my career because I wasn’t able to race him. Definitely a gutsy call [by Chad Knaus] to stay out and such a great team effort.”

Only two cautions took place the entire afternoon, so drivers were forced to drive all 500 miles only stopping for on pit road during green-flag stops. The final restart taking place with two laps left ratcheted up the pressure after all-out racing for much of the afternoon.

Johnson led for 49 laps prior to the final restart and avoided heartbreak with a masterful restart along with a huge wreck after passing the overtime line. Kevin Harvick looked like the strongest driver in the field for much of the race, but he simply couldn’t keep up with Johnson down the final stretch. That opened up a spot for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished second for a Hendrick Motorsports 1-2 finish.

Winning in Atlanta certainly isn’t as illustrious as the Daytona 500, but it means a lot more toward winning a championship. There will be just one superspeedway race at Talladega in the Chase compared to six intermediate-style courses like Atlanta in NASCAR’s playoffs. In search of his seventh championship to tie Earnhardt in another category, this was an uplifting win for Johnson after a tough start to the season at Daytona.

Here’s a look at how the rest of the field shaped up after Johnson’s historic win.

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Carl Edwards
  6. Kevin Harvick
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Chase Elliott
  9. Brad Keselowski
  10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  11. Austin Dillon
  12. Joey Logano
  13. Greg Biffle
  14. Casey Mears
  15. Aric Almirola
  16. Denny Hamlin
  17. Ty Dillon
  18. Paul Menard
  19. Matt Kenseth
  20. Danica Patrick
  21. Jamie McMurray
  22. Trevor Bayne
  23. Kasey Kahne
  24. Ryan Newman
  25. Ryan Blaney
  26. Kyle Larson
  27. A.J. Allmendinger
  28. Chris Buescher
  29. Matt DiBenedetto
  30. Michael Annett
  31. Brian Scott
  32. David Ragan
  33. Michael McDowell
  34. Regan Smith
  35. Clint Bowyer
  36. Landon Cassill
  37. Cole Whitt
  38. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  39. Josh Wise

 

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