(AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS (AP) Jimmie Johnson called winning a record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup title "insane" Friday night, while Tony Stewart was sent off into retirement and Dale Earnhardt Jr. told his adoring fans at the season-ending banquet that he'll be ready to race in 2017.
Johnson's dramatic victory in the finale last month at Homestead moved him into a tie with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most series championships. Johnson was introduced by 23-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps at the Wynn Las Vegas.
"I've won as many championships as Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, but I'll never be the King or the Intimidator," Johnson said. "I'm just a guy from California who always wanted to race."