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Edwards wins race, Johnson wins title

Jimmie Johnson celebrates winning the 2008 Sprint Cup championship for the third year in a row at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida on November 16, 2008. (UPI Photo/Jeff Daly)
Jimmie Johnson celebrates winning the 2008 Sprint Cup championship for the third year in a row at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida on November 16, 2008. (UPI Photo/Jeff Daly) | License Photo

HOMESTEAD, Fla., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Carl Edwards won the Ford 400 Sprint Cup auto race at Homestead, Fla., Sunday afternoon, but Jimmie Johnson captured his third straight points championship.

Edwards gambled on fuel late and "coasted" to his series-leading ninth victory this season.

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Kevin Harvick finished second at the season-ending race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Jamie McMurray third. Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five.

Johnson needed just a 36th place finish to join Cale Yarborough as the only drivers to win the points title three times.

"We had a great race car and that's what made me most comfortable," Johnson said. "From the first lap I knew we had a car that was in the ballpark. This is the ultimate reward. We work so hard to put ourselves in this position. It's total teamwork and dedication."

In the final standings, Edwards was second, 69 points back of Johnson, while four-time champion Jeff Gordon failed to win a race this season for the first time since 1993, his rookie season.

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