(WOMR file photo)
To say that Jimmie Johnson dominated the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover Sunday would be a gross understatement. Johnson led 289 of the scheduled 400 laps, that’s almost 3/4 of the race. The victory for Johnson was the second of the season, and his 57th career win, as well.
After a restart with just 31 laps to go in the race, Johnson drove away from Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., making very short work of his rivals.
Johnson said afterward that leading the most laps doesn’t guarantee success, but on Sunday, he need not have worried.
“When you lead the most laps, sometimes at the end — the way the cautions fall — it can backfire on the dominant car,” said Johnson, who wore a multi-colored wig matching the “Madagascar 3” paint scheme on his #48 Chevrolet at his post-race press conference.
“The way the cautions fell [Sunday], it allowed us to really flex our muscle and bring home the win. I’m proud of the effort. It was a brand new race car we brought to the track. We pulled it off the truck, and it was awesome all weekend long.”
For those who might have thought that Johnson, Knauss, and the rest of the HMS #48 Lowe’s Chevy team had lost its competitive edge, perish that thought immediately! Even though it took eleven races for this team to hit its stride, let there be no mistake that the Lowe’s Chevy is making a run for a sixth Sprint Cup championship. Johnson sits very comfortably in 5th place in the Sprint Cup standings, just 33 points behind the leader, Greg Biffle.
Since the Chase format was instituted, in 2004, there has only been one year that the driver leading the points at this juncture of the season went on to win the Chase. That one driver to do that was none other than “Mr. Five-Time”. That doesn’t bode well for the current Chase point leader, Greg Biffle. However, that fact does lends credence to my assertion that Johnson is lurking, and is a threat for his sixth championship!
Next week NASCAR rolls into “the tricky triangle”, Pocono Raceway.
Check out the unofficial results of the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks.
Here is the Sprint Cup standings after the race at Dover.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!