Say what you want about the state of the sport, but the man just won won his seventh NASCAR championship, and that counts for something.

Johnson chiseled himself in among the NASCAR royalty with a devastatingly perfect sprint to the finish after a late race caution. Johnson's seventh NASCAR championship puts him in a tie with legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr.

"Just beyond words," said Johnson. "Just didn't think the race was unfolding for us like we needed to do to be the champs, but we just kept our heads in the game. Chad (Knaus, crew chief) called a great strategy, made some great adjustments for the short runs. Luck came our way and we were able to win the race and win the championship.

"So thrilled to be in this moment, so grateful for the opportunity and so thankful and blessed. I am at a loss for words."

The win was Johnson's 80th of his career, moving him within range of Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough on the all-time win list.

"Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus, Rick Hendrick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports on another championship," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.

"Jimmie overcame adversity several times throughout the race. He started from the rear of the field and drove steadily up the field. Late in the race, he avoided that multi-car wreck and kept himself in a position to put his name in the record book once again. He never gave up. Seven championships, incredible. That is an amazing feat and just further reinforces his legendary status."

Along with Johnson's seventh title, Chevrolet earned its 31st driver's championship, and Hendrick Motorsports took home its 12th title, most all-time among team owners.

Among the celebrations on Sunday we also said goodbye to three-time champion Tony Stewart, who has provided the series with much needed color and grit since he joined the series full-time in 1999.