Jimmie Johnson charged to the lead after a restart with 31 laps to go and never looked back on his way to winning the FedEx 400, at the Dover International Speedway on Sunday.
Not only was it the second win of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season for Johnson, it was his second in the last three Cup races. This latest trip to Victory Lane places Johnson eighth in all-time NASCAR wins, with 57.
Although leading the race for 289 of the 400 laps around the high-banked oval track dubbed “The Monster Mile,” Johnson was first to admit leading the most laps doesn’t always mean success in racing.
“When you lead the most laps, sometimes in the end – the way the cautions fall – it can backfire on the dominant car,” said the race winner, wearing a multi-coloured wig matching his car sponsor’s paint scheme. “The way cautions fell today, it allowed us to really flex our muscle and bring home the win.”
Kevin Harvick finished second in the race and Matt Kenseth was third. Harvick was fortunate to climb back for the second-place finish after a pit-road miscue dropped him to 18th prior to the restart after the caution period. Harvick overshot his pits and had to be pushed back into his box by pit-crew members.
“The car was good enough to be able to drive back through the pack. We were able to adjust our car well when we needed to,” Harvick said. “And I think that was the key to getting through traffic and putting ourselves back in position to at least have a chance (to win the race).”
Despite finishing out of the Top 10 in Dover, Greg Biffle retains the overall lead in the Sprint Cup standings, although by the slimmest of margins over Kenseth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is third, 10 points behind the leader.
The Pocono 400, in Pennsylvania on June 10, is the next stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup tour.