NASCAR » 07 August 2006
Press Snoop: Johnson wins at Indy.
The Chequered and yellow flew at the same time for Points Leader Jimmie Johnson who won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He led twice. This is his fourth victory this season.
He said "A special day, winning both Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. I rallied back after a tyre problem. I want to pucker up and kiss those bricks." Although he kept saying he was totally speechless, the words kept coming.
Johnson had a front tire deflate and a subsequent fire after he pitted. It was quickly extinguished, but it put him down on the field. Afterwards, Greg Stucker, Goodyear Director of race tyre sales and marketing said "In talking with the team, it appears the set-up was very aggressive in the left front position. The team recognised that and went up on inflation pressure and had no more problems the rest of the day."
Tyre wear was a concern all weekend. Before the start of the race, Goodyear asked for two Competition Cautions to assess tyre wear, rather than the one earlier reported. The first one was at Lap 16 for three laps, and the second one at Lap 41. All cars had to change tyres. For the first Caution most tyres were clean, although Kurt Busch had to come back in to have a loose lug nut tightened.
After all was said and done, it didn't seem as though tyres were much of an issue. Stucker said "As we expected going into today's race, Goodyear tyre wear improved throughout the day, and by Lap 40, we were very happy with what we saw on the cars. We continued to see improvements throughout the afternoon, including complete green flag fuel runs during the event" - something NBC TV commentator Benny Parsons said he hadn't expected to see.
The results, even unofficially, haven't yet been released by NASCAR as they are pending an inquiry on the last lap, which saw the white flag fly, then the caution half way through the last lap. Stay tuned.
Here's what I know so far, unofficially.
Matt Kenseth was second, and in the standings.
Kevin Harvick was third, followed by his teammate, Clint Bowyer-the top Rookie, and Mark Martin. Afterwards Martin said "This old man ain't gave up yet" But he wouldn't comment further on next year's plans.
It was 88 degrees and climbing for the race, with 40 percent humidity and only a nine mph breeze. The many flags hung limply on their poles. Everywhere folks were fanning themselves.
Team owner Richard Childress was a happy camper Sunday, with two of his cars running 1-2 for a while and his Rookie running well. RCR ended up with a third, fourth and twelfth for Pole sitter Jeff Burton, who led six times for 87 laps. After a character building season Childress made wholesale changes in his team and it has paid off.
No one was injured in any of the incidents.
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