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While many consider road courses to typically be wildcards in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe's Racing were able to walk away from Sonoma with a strong 5th place finish.
Starting the day on the second row in 3rd, Jimmie Johnson took advantage of his strong track position by staying near the front all day long, which was even more helpful when considering there were a record-low 2 cautions on the day in Sonoma. After his second pit stop, it was clear that Jimmie Johnson would be cutting it close on fuel coming to the checkered flag. The situation was made even more precarious with a green-white-checkered finish to conclude the race, on which Chad Knaus decided to roll the dice and keep the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet on t he track and try to make it on fuel.
While Johnson did give up a couple of positions in the final two laps while conserving fuel, Team 48 has to be very happy with their 9th top-five finish of the season. The finish keeps them at 4th in points, only 26 points behind leader, Matt Kenseth.