Jimmie Johnson won at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on Sunday, for his fourth career victory there and tying him with Jeff Gordon for most wins at the fabled race track.
“Man, you just hope to race here. To come here and win is a huge honour,” an elated Johnson said after winning the Crown Royal 400. “And to win four – four wins! I’m at a loss for words.”
The win was an important one for Johnson. Not only was it his third trip to Victory Lane this season, which all but guarantees him a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but it could have a prophetic impact on his season. Johnson’s previous wins at Indianapolis came in 2006, 2008 and 2009. In all those years, Johnson went on to win the Sprint Cup.
“I’d love to be a five-time winner here, but I’d also like to win a sixth championship this year,” Johnson said when asked if he was thinking about winning a fifth race at the Indiana race track. “That’s the thing that’s on my mind right now.”
Only one driver has ever won five times at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and five have won four races at the track. Formula 1’s Michael Schumacher won five United States Grand Prix races there, Gordon and Johnson have won four in NASCAR, and A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears have accomplished the feat in IndyCar.
Kyle Busch finished the Crown Royal 400 second and Greg Biffle was third. When it was all over, Busch was one of the drivers left in awe of Johnson’s dominance in the Sunday race.
“Jimmie Johnson wasn’t even in his own zip code,” said the Crown Royal 400 runner-up. “He was in his own country.
Biffle was equally quick to praise Johnson’s performance on the day. “It didn’t really matter if you were in front of him or not. He was going to pass you in about four or five laps anyway,” Biffle said.
The Sprint Cup standings have a new leader. By virtue of a fourth-place finish on Sunday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbs to the top of the leader board, followed by Matt Kenseth and Biffle.
Next up on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Pennsylvania 400 on Aug, 5, when NASCAR returns to Pocono Raceway for the second time in the last two months.