FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Jimmie Johnson led 128 laps to get his fifth career NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
Johnson also won in November at Texas, where all four of his previous wins had been in fall races.
Kevin Harvick, the series points leader who has already won twice this season, finished second.
The runner-up finish for Harvick comes after he finished eighth in Martinsville in the last Cup race two weeks ago. That ended his run of eight consecutive races finishing first or second, the longest such stretch since Richard Petty did it 11 times in a row in 1975.
“I’m not disappointed at all, racing for wins is what we’re here to do,” said Harvick, who led 96 of the 334 laps but is without a win in 25 Texas starts. “Nothing at all to hang your head about.”
This was the fifth time in Johnson’s last seven starts at the 1 1/2-mile, high-banked track that he led at least 100 laps. This is fourth win in the span that also includes a runner-up finish in the spring race three years ago.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is Johnson’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, was third to give Chevrolet a sweep of the top three spots in the first Sprint Cup night race this season.
Team Penske rounded out the top five, with defending race winner Joey Logano finishing fourth and Brad Keselowski fifth.
Jeff Gordon, who in his last full season, is the only driver who has started all 29 Sprint Cup races at Texas since the track opened in 1997. He finished seventh after starting 12th.
Gordon won the 2009 spring race at Texas, where he has 12 top-10 finishes. It is also the only track in his 768 career races where he has finished 43rd — last in the field — and it did that twice, in 1999 and again in 2008.
Harvick had led only eight total laps at Texas before starting on the front row Saturday night and leading the first 33 laps.
Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch, the polesitter, combined to lead the first 79 laps before Gordon passed Busch for a brief time up front. Busch finished 14th
The only other driver with more than two Cup wins at Texas is Carl Edwards, a three-time winner. He finished 10th, ending his career-long streak of eight consecutive finishes outside the top 10. It was his first top 10 for Joe Gibbs Racing.