Jimmie Johnson's title defense is on after win

Coca-Cola 600 victory
Coca-Cola 600 victory

CONCORD, NC (AP) - Jimmie Johnson's run at another Sprint Cup title is on and could lead to NASCAR history.

Johnson's victory in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night locked him into the new, expanded championship chase format. If the 38-year-old Johnson pulls it off, it'll be his seventh series crown to tie the NASCAR mark shared by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

Johnson had spent the season enduring question after question about his failure to finish first while so many others had taken checkered flags - Johnson became the 10th winner in 12 Sprint Cup races.

But Johnson patiently maintained his confidence in the No. 48 team and belief he'd certainly be among the 16 drivers lined up for NASCAR's new knockout playoffs when the time came in September.

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