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Johnson wins again

Posted: Monday, August 02, 2004

LONG POND, Pa. Jimmie Johnson has voiced his disdain about NASCAR's new points system that will leave him fighting for a points championship instead of celebrating one near season's end.

Johnson figures the only solution is to keeping winning races.

''If we complain too much and don't stay focused on what we need to, we'll just be complainers at the end of the year who finished third or fourth,'' Johnson said.

It's hard to imagine that Johnson still won't be the guy to beat in those final 10 races.

Johnson pulled off a clean sweep at Pocono Raceway, dominating at the track for the second time in seven weeks, building on his NASCAR Nextel Cup points lead and winning the Pennsylvania 500 on Sunday in a race that shuffled the rest of the standings.

''Over the long haul today I was able to put the car where I needed it,'' said Johnson, who's the first driver to win the Pocono 500 and Pennsylvania 500 in the same year since Bobby Labonte in 1999.

Under the old points system, Johnson probably could have cruised toward his first career points title. Instead, he'll be lumped with the rest of the drivers in the top 10, along with any others within 400 points of the lead after the 26th race, to compete for the championship over the last 10 races of the season.

''I just have to deal with the rules the way they are and race as hard as we can every week,'' Johnson said.

The ''Chase for the Cup'' begins at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sept. 19.

Mark Martin continued a recent string of solid finishes by placing second, and Kasey Kahne was third. Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five.

''I don't know if anyone can beat Jimmie Johnson here right now,'' said Gordon, who moved to second in the standings.



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