Johnson wins seventh NASCAR title


Jimmie Johnson pulled away from Kyle Larson to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for a record-equalling seventh time.

With his victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson joined Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty with seven crowns.

Johnson notched five consecutive titles from 2006-10 and his most recent in 2013. 

Johnson's seventh championship comes 10 seasons after his first, much quicker than the other two.

Petty was crowned champion for the final time in 1979, 15 seasons after his first title (1964); Earnhardt captured his seventh championship in 1994, 14 seasons after his first (1980). 

It did not come easy, however. 

Dylan Lupton brought out the caution with 15 laps remaining, setting up an all-important final pit stop and restart for the championship.

Among contenders, Carl Edwards won the race of pit road with an 11.8-second stop while Kyle Busch fell three spots to sixth for the restart. 

Edwards' lead among contenders did not last long.

On the ensuing restart, he tried to block fellow Championship 4 driver Joey Logano on the inside row after Logano got up to speed faster than the number 19 car.

Edwards pushed Logano all the way into the inside wall, but found himself caught up with more damage by creating a huge chain-reaction wreck that brought out the red flag for 31 minutes. 

NASCAR reviewed the line-up, determining that Busch would restart third with five laps remaining, followed by Johnson in fourth.

Logano decided to pit for fresh tyres after the red flag and quickly made his way up from eighth to third before Ricky Stenhouse Jr. brought out another caution, sending the race into overtime. 

Busch decided to pit, emulating Logano's earlier move for fresh tyres, but lost significant track position, lining up 12th en route to a sixth-place finish.

Larson finished second followed by Kevin Harvick, Logano and Jamie McMurray.