2012 Brickyard 400 Results: Little E Steals Spotlight from Champ Jimmie Johnson

Joe Versage@@dcjoevCorrespondent IIJuly 29, 2012

Jimmie Johnson can now kiss the bricks as a four-time champion in Indianapolis.
Jimmie Johnson can now kiss the bricks as a four-time champion in Indianapolis.Nick Laham/Getty Images

NASCAR'S Jimmie Johnson continued his dominating ways at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday, with an impressive victory at the Brickyard 400. But he had to share the love with a surging Dale Earnhardt Jr., who grabbed sole possession of the points lead in the Sprint Cup Series.

With a fourth-place finish, "Little E" accumulated 40 points to give him 731 on the season. Meanwhile, previous leader Matt Kenseth was stricken with a case of bad luck.

According to CBSSports.com, Kenseth was "taken out of the race in a late collision with Joey Logano." He ended the day 27 laps short and came in 35th place. Matt is now 14 points behind Earnhardt. 

The race became action-packed after Kenseth's mishap, as Johnson out-dueled Kyle Busch for the win.

Yahoo Sports confirmed the champ's hot finish.

Johnson got a flawless restart when the race went back to green with 20 laps to go, then pulled away from Busch in the closing laps of the race.

After the race, Busch gave credit where credit was due.

"You talk about guys being in their own zip code, (Johnson) was in his own country today," said Busch, in an interview with Fox Sports. 

Greg Biffle finished third and Junior fourth. In the meantime, Johnson shared history with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, who came in fifth.

According to ESPN:

Johnson joined Gordon as the only NASCAR drivers to win four times at the historic 2.5-mile track, which has hosted stock car racing since 1994.

Johnson is also in the company of three other legends. A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears each won the Indianapolis 500 four times at the track. Johnson remembers Mears fondly because he idolized him as a kid.

Unfortunately for Johnson, his reception in Victory Lane paled in comparison to the others. Sunday's race drew a sparse crowd and according to CBS, continues a stretch of mediocre turnouts.