POSTED: Sunday, October 9, 2011 - 6:21pm
UPDATED: Sunday, October 9, 2011 - 6:31pm
That'll teach everyone to count out Jimmie Johnson.
The five-time defending Cup champion dominated Sunday at Kansas Speedway, going to the front early and weathering a series of late cautions to hold off Kasey Kahne and win for the first time since April.
Johnson stumbled through the first two races in NASCAR's version of a postseason, and was 10th in the standings heading to Dover.
A second-place finish last weekend gave Johnson confidence, and his first victory since Talladega moved him into third in the Chase behind Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick.
Jeff Gordon made things interesting when he blew up with three laps remaining.
Johnson chose not to pit before the green-white-checkered finish, but he still managed to drive away from Kahne and Brad Keselowski on worn out tires.
Kahne spun his tires on the restart and finished second.
Keselowski, who won the Nationwide race Saturday, was third and moved up to fourth in the Chase with six races left.