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Johnson Builds Big Points Lead Heading Into Season Finale

Last updated on Monday, November 16, 2009

(AVONDALE, AZ) - Jimmie Johnson rebuilt his triple-digit lead in the Chase for The Sprint Cup with his win Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

The three-time defending Sprint Cup Champion led a race-high 238 laps and leads his closest pursuer, teammate Mark Martin, by 108 points heading to this Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Jeff Gordon finished ninth and is mathematically alive in the chase, but will be eliminated from contention as soon as Johnson takes the green flag in Homestead.

Johnson had built a commanding lead in the chase thanks to winning three of the first five chase races, but Martin cut the lead to 73 points last weekend at Texas when he finished fourth and Johnson crashed on the third lap and finished 38th.

Jeff Burton finished second at Phoenix followed by Denny Hamlin, Martin and pole-winner Martin Truex Jr.

Johnson needs to finish 25th or better this Sunday to clinch an unprecedented fourth-straight cup.

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