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Auto Racing

Johnson wins thriller at Dover

TBO.com The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 22, 2013 at 08:54 PM

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DOVER, Del. -

Jimmie Johnson nosed past Tony Stewart with two laps left in a thrilling battle to the finish and won the Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway.

Johnson pushed Stewart during the final few laps Sunday on the concrete and finally caught him with an outside pass. Johnson won his second race of the season and got his fourth career Cup victory at Dover in Sunday's Autism Speaks 400.

"We just couldn't hold off Jimmie," Stewart said. "He was like a freight train coming."

Johnson dominated most of the race and led 298 laps after leading only 12 laps combined in the last six races. The three-time defending Cup champion had a slow pit stop with 36 laps left that dropped him from the lead. With crew chief Chad Knaus telling Johnson he would catch Stewart, Johnson pulled out his 42nd career win.

"I just had to go," Johnson said. "I had one heck of a race with Tony. That's how racing's supposed to be done."

He was followed by Stewart, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 12th in his first race with crew chief Lance McGrew.

Stewart passed Jeff Gordon for the Cup points lead.

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