|Jimmie Johnson celebrates as he holds the trophy after winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at the Ford 400 race in Homestead, Florida on November 21, 2010. (HANS DERYK/Reuters)
HOMESTEAD, FL - Jimmie Johnson's dynasty in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continues after he clinched his record-extending fifth consecutive championship with a second-place finish in Sunday's season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Johnson finished the season 39 points ahead of Denny Hamlin, who finished 14th.
"Yeah, unbelievable, you guys are the best," Johnson said to his pit crew over the team radio after he crossed the finish line.
Hamlin, who entered the race with a 15-point lead over Johnson, struggled after making contact with Greg Biffle and spinning onto the infield grass early in the race.
Johnson becomes just the third driver in series history to win the title after not leading in points heading into the season-finale. Richard Petty accomplished the feat in 1979 to earn his seventh title, and Alan Kulwicki turned the trick in 1992.
Carl Edwards won the race with a dominating performance, leading 189 laps. Edwards also won last Sunday at Phoenix.
Kevin Harvick, who finished third, ended the season 41 points behind Johnson. Harvick was penalized for speeding on pit road during the mid-stages of the race.