“We had a great race car and lead a lot of the race,” Johnson said. “At the end there the No.1 decided to run the top and took the bulk of the cars with him. As that happened the middle lane that I was in quickly became the bottom lane and then quickly didn’t exist. I dropped like a rock for a while and was able to get in the outside lane and start making some spots back and fortunately missed the big pile up on the front stretch. Obviously, was paying attention to where the No.20 was. I was the No.29, the No.24 and was in and around and ahead I think of most of those guys. 13th isn’t the best finish, but with what we are trying to do and win a championship we beat the competition today and that is good.”
Matt Kenseth said he wasn’t pleased with his performance on Sunday.
“It was an incredibly disappointing day,” the driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Let’s Do This Toyota said. “The end there, I just still for the life of me (can’t) figure out - I need to watch it. From third back to 14th I think everybody was running half-throttle and me, Joey (Logano) and Carl (Edwards), and I thought Greg (Biffle) was going to go with us too and he must have decided not to.”
Kenseth led the second most amount laps on Sunday, but he quickly dropped towards the back as he told his crew that his car didn’t handle the well.
“We just got incredibly loose and I just couldn’t control my car even hardly by myself and I really just had to go to the back and wait until we could fix it,” he said. “We didn’t get it fixed until that last stop and got up and was kind of battling for the lead. I couldn’t get in the middle lane where I needed to be.
Kenseth said a couple of other drivers tried to make something happen. He figured a couple of drivers would go up on the track, trying to be a leader
“I tried as hard as I could and one time Jeff (Gordon) cleared the guy and I tried to move Jeff up and then somebody shot outside of him,” Kenseth recalled. “I think Jamie (McMurray, the race winner) or somebody made the move, and then I got stuck.”
Kyle Busch finished fifth at Tallladega, which helped him the points standings as he moved up two spot to third place.
Busch trailed Johnson by 26 points.
Kevin Harvick moved down a spot to fourth place with a 12th place finish at Talladega. He is 34 points behind the leader.
The six time winner at Talladega, Jeff Gordon finished 14th at the 2.66 tri-oval track, which move him down to fifth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the big winner in the points standings.
Coming into Talladega he was ninth, but his second place finish helped him jump up three spots to six place, which is 52 points off the lead.
Greg Biffle is seventh followed by Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Martinsville this weekend. Johnson won at the spring race, which was his eighth time taking the checkered flag there.
“It has been good to us in the past,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to go there and race. There is going to be strong competition. We will make sure we get buttoned up and ready to go for this weekend’s race and go up there to that that paperclip and see what we can do.”