Early in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson appeared to be the driver to beat.
After starting second, Johnson led 37 laps before fueling issues during a round of pit stops dropped him back.
He would later bring his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet back down pit road for a possible right-rear tire going down, which turned out not to be the case.
But overall, Johnson was happy leave Michigan with a sixth-place finish despite the troubles.
“To rally back and end up sixth is good,” Johnson said after the race. “We are working hard and it’s nice to see the speed showing. There has been a lot of hard work for months going into this.”
Johnson finished seventh at Bristol, and a sixth-place run at MIS made it the first time he has scored back-to-back top-10 finishes since April at Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, respectively.
Although he would like to see even more speed in the cars, Johnson remains optimistic with the way things are going with just two races before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins.
“It’s going in the right direction,” Johnson added. “We feel like we are doing the right things to get speed in our cars and fortunately we still have a few months before we have to race for a championship at Homestead.”
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August 27: Stewart tops Michigan Sprint Cup practice
August 25: REPORT About Dale Jr.
August 24: NASCAR penalty report post-Bristol
August 22: Stewart says farewell with twin burnout