Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Jimmie Johnson moves into 3rd round of NASCAR's playoffs

Stuck in the longest losing streak of his career, Jimmie Johnson had a chance for a critical win that could salvage this ho-hum season for Hendrick Motorsports.

Hardly a championship contender for most of this season, Johnson grabbed a victory at sun-soaked Charlotte Motor Speedway when nearly half the title contenders had horrible days.

The win Sunday was his third of the season, but snapped a 24-race losing streak dating to March. Johnson is the only Hendrick driver to visit victory lane this season, and this win earned him an automatic berth into the third round of the playoffs.

It's the first time Johnson has made it out of the second round since the elimination...