With a victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Jimmie Johnson won his seventh series championship on Sunday night. Johnson joins Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. in the ranks of seven all-time Sprint Cup championships.
The title ties Johnson with Earnhardt and Petty for most all-time Sprint Cup championships, and Johnson will be the final winner in the era of the series’ Sprint sponsorship. NASCAR is in talks with sponsors to take over the title sponsorship when the series returns in February.
Johnson beat out Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and defending series champion Kyle Busch to take the title. Under NASCAR’s new Chase for the Championship format, the top finisher between the four remaining drivers in the Homestead race would win the title.
Edwards did not finish the race, as he and Logano tangled on a late-race restart to put him in the wall and out of contention. The final restart, now dubbed “overtime” by NASCAR, left two laps to go in the race with a shootout between Logano and Johnson. Johnson restarted second ahead of Logano while Busch, who took a pit stop for new tires, restarted 13th.
Kyle Larson, who led much of the race, restarted out front. Johnson quickly took the lead off of the restart, finishing nearly half of a second ahead of Larson. Logano crossed the line in fourth behind Kevin Harvick.
As the only active driver with seven Sprint Cup championships, Johnson has the chance to surpass both Petty and Earnhardt on the list of all-time titles in the series. Mexico’s Daniel Suarez won the Xfinity Series championship on Saturday night to become NASCAR’s first foreign-born national series champion, while Johnny Sauter won the championship in Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series race.