LOUDON, N.H. There was a time in Sunday's race at New Hampshire International Speedway when Jimmie Johnson was just hoping to salvage a decent finish.
Instead, Johnson withstood a pit accident that sent three of his crewmen flying, an angry competitor he believes was trying to wreck him, and another round of fuel strategy to win the Sylvania 300.
''We had to overcome a lot of adversity and it took the whole team to do it, and we did it,'' said Johnson, who won his third race of the season and the sixth of his budding career.
In July, Johnson stretched his fuel for the last 93 laps on the way to victory on the 1.058-mile oval.
This time, he and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team played another strategy to perfection, giving up the lead to make a lightning fast, fuel-only stop 25 laps from the end.
As the rest of the leaders were forced to pit for gas, Johnson moved closer and closer to the front, finally regaining the top spot on the 294th of 300 laps.
Johnson's teammate and car owner, Jeff Gordon, who took the lead when Johnson pitted, was on a similar strategy but ran out of gas three laps from the end. He got to the pits with a push from Ken Schrader, but wound up a lap down in 19th.
Nobody was able to challenge Johnson, a second-year Winston Cup star, after he regained the lead. He drove his Chevrolet across the finish line 6.24-seconds about 10 car-lengths ahead of runner-up Ricky Rudd.
Johnson, who led a total of only 12 laps Sunday, became the first driver to win both NHIS races in a season since the second event was added in 1997, and the first driver to win two in a row since the first Cup race here in 1993.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.