Jimmie Johnson tied Cale Yarborough's 30-year old record Sunday, when he nailed down his third consecutive Sprint Cup Crown.
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Johnson finished 15th at the Ford 400. He made things tough by qualifying 30th for the race, but in the end, he only needed a 36th place finish to win the Cup.
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Shown here with his wife and his Hendrick Motorsports team, Johnson won more than $2 million in the 10 Chase races this year. Yarborough earned a combined $1.63 million in all three of his championship seasons ('76-78).
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After struggling at the start of the season, Johnson and his crew chief, Chad Knaus, embarked on an aggressive testing schedule that helped them catch and then pull ahead of the competition by late summer.
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Johnson sealed the win with a 15th place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was just Johnson's second finish outside the top-10 in this Chase -- the other was a 15th-place finish at Texas.
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For the season, Johnson won seven races, including three during the Chase. He won at Kansas, Martinsville and Phoenix International Speedways.
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Carl Edwards congratulated Johnson after the race. "At least we can lay our heads down tonight and know we won some races and just got beaten by a true champion," Edwards said.
8 of 9Fred Vuich/SI
Carl Edwards flips off his car after winning the final race of the Chase. Edwards fell just 69 points short of wresting the Sprint Cup trophy away from Johnson. He led a race-high 157 laps, and won despite running out of gas as he crossed the finish line.
9 of 9Fred Vuich/SI
After the race, Johnson's crew chief, Chad Knaus, said: "We want four. Why not? That's why we're here. We can definitely bid for four. Give me a reason why not."
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