NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson holds off Brad Keselowski to extend Sprint Cup lead
Jimmie Johnson has opened up a seven-point lead over Brad Keselowski following his victory at the AAA Texas 500.
Last Updated: 05/11/12 8:11am
Johnson had gone into the race at Texas Motor Speedway with a two-point advantage in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.
However the five-time champion now goes into the final two races of the Chase in pole position after another impressive drive.
Johnson had led for 168 laps - but crucially he moved in front for the seventh and final time after the third restart late on in the race.
Mark Martin's spin on the 333rd of 334 laps had forced the restart - with Johnson and Keselowski lined-up side by side.
Johnson, though, was rewarded for his charge on the outside as he passed Keselowski and held on over the final lap and a quarter.
Keselowski, who had never finished better than 14th at Texas, kept his title hopes alive as he came home in second, while Kyle Busch had to settle for third despite leading for 80 laps.
Matt Kenseth finished back in fourth, while defending champion Tony Stewart was fifth and Clint Bowyer, who is third in the Chase standings, was sixth.
Kasey Kahne's hopes of gate-crashing the Sprint Cup shootout, though, were dented as he finished back in 25th spot.