clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jimmie Johnson wins the 2014 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

A tumultuous race featuring a brawl on pit road saw Jimmie Johnson prevail Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Tom Pennington

A race that was fairly sedate in the early going was anything but in the latter stages. Just after Jimmie Johnson charged to his fourth win of the year, a wild brawl between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski took place on pit road following the conclusion of the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Race-deciding moment

A series of late cautions bunched the field and jumbled the running order, as drivers utilized varies strategies. The first of two green-white-checkered restarts saw leaders Johnson, Gordon and Keselowski run three-wide into Turn 1. As Keselowski attempted to slice between Gordon and Johnson he and Gordon made contact, which cut a tire on the No. 24 car causing Gordon to spin.

On the subsequent restart, Johnson got the jump on Keselowski, who stayed alongside the No. 48 car but Johnson then outdrove him through Turns 3 and 4 to complete the pass. Harvick passed Keselowski for second.

Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. The win was Johnson's fourth of the season, but his first since mid-August. The defending series champion was unexpectedly eliminated in the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

"We should be a Chase driver," said Johnson, who led a race-high 191 laps. "We just had a slow start to the Chase and last week. We are back on track. Unfortunately, we didn't find this stuff a month or two ago, but that is the way racing goes."

Fight night on pit road

Frustrated with Keselowski over what he deemed unnecessary contact, and frustrated with a 29th-place finish, Gordon stopped on pit road to confront Keselowski.

As the two were speaking their respective crews gathered and a melee soon unfolded with Gordon and Keselowski in the middle of the fracas. Both drivers emerged with scratches and cuts on their face.

"He just decided to body slam us and cut our left-rear tire," Gordon said. "It ruined our night. It ruined our chances, ruined our night, might have even ruined our Chase hopes.  It's just uncalled for. I had to show my displeasure. It got ugly down there, obviously, and you know that is alright."

Keselowski defended his brazen attempt to pass Johnson and Gordon, calling it hard racing.

Due to a mechanical failure a week ago at Martinsville Speedway, Keselowski was in a virtual must-win situation Sunday if he was to advance in Chase and be among the four drivers to qualify for the championship race Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"There was a hole and I went for it," Keselowski said. "It closed up and we bounced off each other and kept going. It was just a battle for the win.

"I wish we would have gotten a better finish out of it, but we didn't. It was hard fought. I am doing everything I can to win this race and stay in the championship hunt."

Chase outlook

Several Chasers experienced an up-and-down afternoon, dramatically altering the Chase standings with just one Round 3 race remaining.  Like Gordon, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth experienced tire issues late. Logano rallied to finish 12th, Newman was 15th, Kenseth 25th.

With Johnson winning Sunday and Earnhardt at Martinsville, three of the four drivers advancing to Homestead will be determined by points. Denny Hamlin, Logano, Newman and Gordon are the four drivers in position to transfer entering next weekend's race at Phoenix International Raceway.

"We had a bad car," Hamlin said. "We made the best of it. Other guys made mistakes. We weren't really that good. Luckily other guys had problems. That's what happened."

AAA Texas 500 Results

Finish Driver Laps Status
1 Jimmie Johnson 341 Running
2 Kevin Harvick 341 Running
3 Brad Keselowski 341 Running
4 Kyle Busch 341 Running
5 Jamie McMurray 341 Running
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 341 Running
7 Kyle Larson 341 Running
8 Kurt Busch 341 Running
9 Carl Edwards 341 Running
10 Denny Hamlin 341 Running
11 Tony Stewart 341 Running
12 Joey Logano 341 Running
13 Greg Biffle 341 Running
14 AJ Allmendinger 341 Running
15 Ryan Newman 341 Running
16 Brian Vickers 341 Running
17 Paul Menard 341 Running
18 Casey Mears 341 Running
19 Martin Truex Jr. 341 Running
20 Justin Allgaier 341 Running
21 Austin Dillon 341 Running
22 Michael Annett 341 Running
23 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 341 Running
24 Aric Almirola 341 Running
25 Matt Kenseth 341 Running
26 Cole Whitt 341 Running
27 Marcos Ambrose 341 Running
28 Clint Bowyer 341 Running
29 Jeff Gordon 340 Running
30 Michael McDowell 338 Running
31 JJ Yeley 338 Running
32 David Ragan 338 Running
33 Reed Sorenson 337 Running
34 David Gilliland 335 Running
35 Timmy Hill 334 Running
36 Danica Patrick 332 Running
37 Joey Gase 330 Running
38 Kasey Kahne 319 Accident
39 Trevor Bayne 318 Accident
40 Brett Moffitt 283 Accident
41 Josh Wise 256 Running
42 Alex Bowman 245 Engine
43 Landon Cassill 134 Engine