In the final seconds of his first victory at Michigan International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson could finally relax a bit.
"About 200 yards before the finish line, I knew if the car exploded, I'd still slide across the finish line," he said.
Johnson and his No. 48 Chevrolet made it through the last few laps with a comfortable lead, and the six-time series champion won Sunday for the first time in 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at the two-mile track in Brooklyn.
Johnson outlasted pole winner Kevin Harvick by 1.214 seconds for his third victory in four races.
It was the fifth victory in a row for Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. also have won during the streak that doesn't count Jamie McMurray's win for Chevy and Chip Ganassi in the Sprint All-Star race last month.
Brad Keselowski placed third Sunday after two straight runner-up showings at Dover and Pocono. Paul Menard was fourth, followed by Kasey Kahne, Gordon and Earnhardt in the 200-lap race.
Johnson had finished in the top five four times previously at Michigan, including a second-place showing in August 2011. He lost in August 2012 when his engine faltered with six laps left.
"It was a long time coming," crew chief Chad Knaus said.
There are now only four tracks on the current schedule where Johnson has never won -- Kentucky, Watkins Glen, Chicagoland and Homestead-Miami.
"It's good to see Jimmie, after leading so many laps here, close the deal," owner Rick Hendrick said. "We've run out of gas, broke motors, blown tires."
Johnson led after 164 laps Sunday before pitting. He was back in front with 10 laps to go following a cycle of pit stops by other drivers.
"We really were in a win-win situation," Johnson said. "Those guys still had to come to pit road to make it to the end. Once I got an idea of how the race was unfolding, I knew we were in the catbird seat."
This was Johnson's 69th career victory.
"Even at 69 wins, I still cherish them all," Johnson said. "It is not easy to win in this sport."
NHRA: Defending Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon raced to his first win of the season, beating points leader Doug Kalitta in the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee. Langdon edged Kalitta with a 3.819-second run at 320.51 mph. Tommy Johnson Jr. won the Funny Car final, and points leader Erica Enders-Stevens took the Pro Stock event. She beat Jonathan Gray.
Misc.: Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer overcame turbocharger problems to drive Audi to its 13th title at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was the trio's third victory in the endurance race in France. Their Audi No. 2 finished three laps ahead of Audi No. 1 driven by Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gene and Tom Kristensen. Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Nicolas Lapierre took third in the Toyota No. 8, five laps off the pace. Pole-sitter Kazuki Nakajima's Toyota No. 7 retired in the 15th hour while leading because of an electrical problem.