Johnson Extends NASCAR Reign
No. 48 makes it two straight with conservative 7th-place finish
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser User
Posted Nov 19, 2007 3:47 AM CST
Driver Jeff Gordon is seen prior to the start of the Ford 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series auto race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, FL. Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With a conservative game plan in the top stock car circuit's finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Jimmie Johnson cruised to a 7th-place finish, easily netting him the NASCAR season title. Johnson had won his previous four races and needed only to place in the top 18 in Florida. Mentor and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon finished second in the season race, 77 points back.

Despite a remarkable year in which Gordon won six races and became a dad, he was disconsolate: "It's an awesome year, but you know what? We wanted to win a championship and we got beat." Johnson is the first back-to-back winner since—who else?—Gordon in 1997-98.