Jimmie Johnson Claims 7th Dover Victory
Matching the records held by Hall of Fame superstars Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, Jimmy Johnson took the checkered flag on Sunday in the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway, bringing his total wins on the track to seven. The five-time Sprint Cup champion led the field a total of 289 of the 400 laps on the track where he last won on 26 September 2010. Hendrick Motorports had plenty to celebrate with a four-race winning streak under their belts – Kasey Kahne’s victory in the Coca Cola 600 on Memorial Day, along with Johnson’s Southern 500 win at Darlington Raceway, and his non-points All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. While saying that he had never thought of himself as “the guy who’d build up any cool stats”, Johnson is currently fifth in points and is considered to have a good chance of scoring a sixth Sprint Cup championship – although the championship driver was reported as saying that it was “way too early to talk championship”.
Some of the obstacles drivers had to overcome on Sunday included a thirteen car wreck coming out of turn two – better known as Calamity Corner. Last year’s champion Tony Stewart was caught up in the wreck, running into the back of Landon Cassill’s car. Following a red flag stop, Stewart rejoined the race, finishing 25th. Showing just how unpredictable racing can be, Stewart started the season well, but has had three bad finishes in his last four races, finishing 24th at Talladega, and 25th at Charlotte. Carl Edwards voiced his disappointment at having to leave the race after crashing on lap 165 due to a flat tire, saying that he was really frustrated that the day had been cut short and that he loved racing at Dover.
Finishing 2.550 seconds behind Johnson, Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing is enjoying a good season, and is considered to be one of the top contenders for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. No doubt he is hoping to claim the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship for his team, which last held the cup title with Dale Earnhardt’s victory in the 1994 championship. Third place in Sunday’s race was taken by Matt Kenseth, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr, and Joey Logano. With the 13th of 36 races complete, there is still plenty of action ahead for auto racing fans. The next race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is the Pocono 400 on 10 June.