Johnson wins at Dover; Narrows point’s gap to 35

Dover, DE – With his sixth Dover win in the books, Jimmie Johnson surges in the NASCAR Chase Championship point’s battle to second just 35 points behind leader Denny Hamlin. The No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet team demonstrated their desire to win a fifth straight title and that six wins in 2010 are just the beginning.

Johnson earned his 53rd career victory in the 40th running of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. This was his 319 career start. “Obviously, the weekend we would dream of,” said Johnson. “winning the pole, leading the most laps, and winning the race.”  

“There are eight races left in the Chase and the points can shake up a lot,” Johnson said. “We want to win five in a row; we want to win this championship.” And well he is pleased to have won the race; Johnson is keeping his sights set on the bigger prize.  

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In the interim, he got to celebrate with his daughter for the first time in victory lane.   The first caution of the race came around lap 38, when a safety light blew on the back straightaway.   David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing drew the second caution after a spin in turn four. Back to racing and it was A.J. Allmendinger leading the way. At one point, Allmendinger opened up a six second lead on local favorite Martin Truex Jr.  

Following a tire issue, Allmendinger would be relegated to mid pack. Allmendinger lead 143 laps in Sunday’s race, the most in one event. “Everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports is building great race cars and Doug Yates and all those guys are bringing a lot of horsepower,” he said. “We’re getting really good at fighting back and making good finishes out of a problem that happens.”  

During green flag pit stops, Chase contender Tony Stewart was penalized with a drive thru penalty for being too fast entering pit road. He finished two laps down in 21st.   The weekend woes for Clint Bowyer continued as he hit the wall. And then following the race, Bowyer’s Chevrolet was tagged for a return trip to the R& D Center. The RCR appeal is set to be heard this week on his New Hampshire penalty.  

Cautions also flew for debris following two incidents with Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne, respectively, during Sunday’s race.  

Rounding out the top five was Jeff Burton, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards. Burton’s stellar performance was attributed to his team’s ability to change with the track. “We thought we had a really good racecar coming into the race today,” he said. In true ‘Tony the Tiger’ fashion, Burton gave props to the No. 48 team. “They’re not good, they’re great! They’ve been in the hunt. I think there as seasoned as you can possibly be together.”  

The top 10 included Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and A.J. Allmendinger. Kevin Conway was the highest finishing rookie in 37th place.  

The top five contenders in the Chase for the Championship are separated by a mere 65 points. Kyle Busch is third followed by his brother Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick. Denny Hamlin leads the pack with a total of 5368 points, and is satisfied to be leaving Dover in his mist with a thirty-five point cushion.  

“I think there is going to be a handful of guys running for the championship in Homestead,” Hamlin said. The 14 can light things up at anytime. This is the most wide open chase that we’ve had so far.”  

Next week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway.  

Unofficial Results

Pos. St. No. Driver Make Pts. Bon. Laps Status
1 2 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 195 10 300 Running
2 22 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 170 0 300 Running
3 4 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 170 5 300 Running
4 32 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 160 0 300 Running
5 27 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 155 0 300 Running
6 17 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 155 5 300 Running
7 7 0 David Reutimann Toyota 146 0 300 Running
8 24 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 142 0 300 Running
9 9 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 138 0 300 Running
10 15 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge 134 0 300 Running
11 10 99 Carl Edwards Ford 135 5 300 Running
12 6 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 127 0 300 Running
13 12 2 Kurt Busch Dodge 124 0 300 Running
14 21 9 Kasey Kahne Ford 121 0 300 Running
15 13 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 118 0 300 Running
16 5 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 115 0 300 Running
17 14 16 Greg Biffle Ford 112 0 300 Running
18 1 12 Brad Keselowski Dodge 114 5 300 Running
19 20 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 106 0 300 Running
20 16 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 103 0 300 Running
21 19 19 Elliott Sadler Ford 100 0 300 Running
22 11 6 David Ragan Ford 97 0 300 Running
23 33 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 94 0 300 Running
24 3 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 96 5 300 Running
25 25 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 88 0 299 Running
26 29 7 Robby Gordon Toyota 90 5 299 Running
27 37 83 Reed Sorenson Toyota 82 0 299 Running
28 8 98 Paul Menard Ford 79 0 299 Running
29 26 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 76 0 298 Running
30 23 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota 73 0 298 Running
31 30 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 70 0 297 Running
32 40 38 Travis Kvapil Ford 67 0 295 Running
33 39 37 David Gilliland Ford 64 0 295 Running
34 41 34 Tony Raines Ford 61 0 295 Running
35 31 20 Joey Logano Toyota 58 0 256 Accident
36 28 82 Scott Speed Toyota 55 0 213 Running
37 42 71 Andy Lally Chevrolet 52 0 138 Brakes
38 18 13 Casey Mears Toyota 49 0 93 Vibration
39 43 9 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 46 0 89 Electrical
40 35 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 48 5 60 Clutch
41 36 55 Mike Bliss Toyota 40 0 55 Brakes
42 34 164 Landon Cassill Toyota 37 0 40 Brakes
43 38 46 Michael McDowell Dodge 34 0 29 Engine

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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For the past few years I have been shooting photos at Pocono International Raceway and Dover International. I have also had the opportunity to shoot the Nextel All Star Challenge, Brickyard 400, and at Nazareth Speedway. In 2008, I brought photos of the Hendrick Motorsports Museum, Dover Celebrity Billiards Tournament and Elliott Sadler's Barn Party to the SpeedwayMedia website. I am a graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in the Mass Communications field. To begin my career, I worked at a small newspaper where I covered NASCAR and local dirt track racing. My passion for competitive motorsports developed into a Public Relations position with a local midget racing organization. I left the dirt track scene in 2004 with one goal. My career goal is to work full-time in the stock car racing field. Through SpeedwayMedia I have been able to begin fulfilling my dreams.

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