SPRINT Camping World RV 400

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Johnson wins at Kansas, takes Chase lead

Sep 28, 2008 - 9:51 PM KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Ticker) -- Jimmie Johnson took a step toward a third straight NASCAR Sprint Cup championship on Sunday.

The two-time reigning series champion won the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway from the pole, breaking Greg Biffle's two-race winning streak and taking over the top spot in the "Chase for the Championship."

Johnson finished nearly one-half second ahead of a hard-charging Carl Edwards on the 1.5-mile oval. Biffle was third, followed by Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth.

"Those last two laps - man, (Edwards) was there," said Johnson who claimed his fifth win of the season and 38th career. "I saw the slide job coming at the end, and just got out of his way.

"We're doing the things we need to do right now."

Edwards actually passed Johnson's Chevrolet on the final lap, but washed up the track and hit the wall, allowing Johnson to reclaim the lead and take the checkered flag.

"I planned to hit the wall, but I didn't plan on the wall slowing me down that much," said Edwards, who trails Johnson by 10 points atop the standings. "I do the same thing in the video game and going wide open it doesn't slow me down - but this wasn't the video game.

"I wanted to win this race so bad. I was going as hard as I could at the end. Maybe next year."

Edwards, who overcame a poor starting position and two pit lane incidents, lost the top spot to Johnson on a pit stop with 47 laps to go.

Johnson took the top spot on lap 220 of 267 after winning the race off pit road.

"That was the difference," Johnson said. "The 99 (Edwards) was better than us on the long runs, so the job on pit road was the difference."

Biffle remains third in the standings and now sits 30 points behind Johnson.

"It was a big handful at the end," Biffle said. "I was really loose. But I can't complain about finishing third."

Chase drivers Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton, along with David Ragan, AJ Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler, rounded out the top 10.

Kyle Busch's nightmare Chase continued Sunday as engine woes relegated him to a 28th-place finish. He remained 12th and last in the Chase standings, 311 points behind Johnson.

"It's pretty self-explanatory how I feel right now," Busch said.

Busch wasn't the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver who struggled Sunday. Denny Hamlin finished 11th, but Tony Stewart struggled to a 40th-place finish, seven laps down.

Hamlin is 10th in the standings and Stewart dropped four spots to 11th.

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