NASCAR »

Johnson rallies for Dover win.


It's tough to keep a good man down — and when you have the combination of a great car and an excellent driver, it's downright impossible, as Jimmie Johnson proved in Sunday's Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Restarting eighth on lap 374 of 400 - after NASCAR called the tenth caution of the race for David Stremme's hard crash on the front stretch - Johnson atoned for a slow pit-stop and charged through the field to run down Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart and win his fourth Sprint Cup race at Dover, his second of the 2009 season and the 42nd of his career.

Johnson, who led 298 laps in all, cleared Stewart for the lead through turns three and four on lap 398 and pulled away to finish 0.861secs ahead of the #14 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet.

“Fortunately, I had such a good car that I could run around the top,” said Johnson, who climbed one position to third in the series standings, “My hat's off to Tony Stewart - that was one heck of a race. I had to drive so far over my head to get by him. I'm just very proud of what we did out there on the racetrack today."

Having taken two tyres to Johnson's four during the final pit-stops for each team, Stewart repeatedly ran high through the corners to try to block Johnson's line, but the reigning Cup champion finally found room to the outside through turns one and two and completed the winning pass through the final two corners.

“I wasn't going to give up," Johnson continued, "I had no idea what was going to happen, but I knew I had a great racecar. I knew there were some laps left, and it was just time to go—and I got it done. To have to run that hard to pass that many good cars to get the lead, that's a challenge. I really had to suck it up and get going. I thought I was going to pound the wall a couple of times on the top. I cooked it off in there too fast and slid right up to the crumbs, and I'm like 'please stay, please'. It stuck, and I made it back around.”

Stewart, who took the series points lead from 26th-place finisher Jeff Gordon, used his consummate skill to try to keep Johnson behind him.

“We had an opportunity,” he said, having become the first owner/driver to lead the points standings since Alan Kulwicki in 1992, “We got to the lead there and got by Biffle and just couldn't hold off Jimmie. He was like a freight train coming. I was surprised I could hold him off as long as I did, but I was pretty happy that we were able to do it for that long.

“When you're the fastest car and you're coming as fast as he was, it was just a matter of getting the opening that he needed, and we did everything we could to take his line away from him as often as we could, but just couldn't do it long enough.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jimmie Johnson - Lowe`s/Kobalt Chevrolet   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualifies for twelfth position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Larson is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eleventh position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, qualifies for tenth position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15, 2015 in Lexington, Ohio. (Picture Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, Sam Marson and Dave Marson, founders of Nature`s Bakery, pose for a photo opportunity after announcing a multiyear deal partnership during a press conference on August 18, 2015 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The partnership will begin with the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for Stewart-Haas Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to an eighth place finish Sunday, August 16, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Sunday, August 16, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, August 16, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place with Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who finished in 20th place Sunday, August 16, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.