NASCAR »

Opportunistic Johnson triumphs at the Brickyard.

Juan Pablo Montoya's loss was Jimmie Johnson's gain Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Capitalising on a pit-road speeding penalty applied to Montoya's otherwise dominant car —and on the outside lane on a restart with 24 laps left — Johnson held off Hendrick team-mate and polesitter Mark Martin to win his second straight Allstate 400 at the Brickyard - and his third in the past four years.

Johnson staved off a last-ditched challenge from Martin through the first two corners at the 2.5-mile track and streaked across the yard of bricks 0.400secs ahead of the veteran in a race that gave no hint of the chronic tyre problems that punctuated last year's event.

Montoya led 116 laps, more than twice the 57 combined he had led in 92 previous Cup starts, but ended the day frustrated in eleventh place after being called for speeding on pit-lane - something the Colombian vehemently denied had been the case.

Cup points leader Tony Stewart finished third and now leads Johnson by 192 points with six races left before the twelve-driver Chase field is set at Richmond. Johnson moved past ninth-place finisher Jeff Gordon, who trails Stewart by 207 points. Greg Biffle came home fourth, followed by Brian Vickers, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and David Reutimann. Matt Kenseth ran tenth to hold the final Chase-eligible position in the standings by 68 points over Reutimann.

“Geez, was he fast,” Johnson said of Martin, “For an old guy, he had me pretty worried. Those last 15-20 laps, we had to drive it so hard just to stay ahead of the #5. I was better in turns three and four than he was, and he had me beat in one and two, and it was kind of a give-and-take thing that was going on. Luckily, we held him off.”

To Johnson, the last restart was critical. Martin chose the inside lane for the restart on lap 137 of 160, and Johnson surged into the lead from the outside as the cars sped through the first two corners.

“Clean air was everything,” said Johnson, who won his third race of the year and the 43rd of his career. “You could only get so close to the car in front of you. I got that restart and put on a great show for the fans. I hope they enjoyed it.”

Over the final green-flag run, Martin said he drove his car as hard as he could without wrecking it.

“I drove my heart out and gave it everything I had,” the 50-year old said, “I'm just thankful that I had a chance to race for the win. I'm disappointed we didn't win, but I got beat by Superman.”

Montoya had a lead of more than four seconds when he came to the pits under green for tyres and fuel on lap 125 but, according to NASCAR, he exceeded the 55mph speed limit entering the pits and was preparing to serve a drive-thru' penalty when Dale Earnhardt Jr's engine exploded at the entrance to pit road, causing the third caution of the race.

The yellow flag saved Montoya from losing a lap, but he remained adamant that he had not exceeded the speed limit.



Tagged as: Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jimmie Johnson celebrates a second successive win in the Indianapolis-based Allstate 400 at the Brickyard   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Damage to the winshield of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Spring is Calling Chevrolet, is repaired on pit road during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS races to a third-place finish Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS won the race and Jimmie Johnson driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished second. (Photo by HHP/Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS (left) battles Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Busch won the race. Johnson finished second.  (Photo by HHP/Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, talks to Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS qualified 4th Friday, March 21, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick is 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Rusty Jarrett for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s “Spring Is Calling” Chevrolet SS qualified 3rd Friday, March 21, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Johnson is 5th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS qualified 11th Friday, March 14, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Mountain Dew Kickstart Chevrolet, leads Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS qualified 5th March 7, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. Johnson is 5th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS drives to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race March 2, 2014 at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, AZ. Harvick is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet) (HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS picks up his victory flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race March 2, 2014 at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, AZ. Harvick is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS celebrates his win March 2, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, AZ. Harvick is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, comes to the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Join 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.


BigZipper

July 28, 2009 1:16 AM

Nascar is the WWF of motor sport, they just didn't want the "bad boy" to win. Nascar does this stuff all the time and gets away with it. It's rigged. As Montoya said, there is no way he was speeding coming onto pit lane.

Tyrone - Unregistered

August 05, 2009 2:58 PM

Montoyas first win can't be far away. It seems NASCAR takes a long time to learn which is interesting considering Montoyas racing back ground so it must be a lot tougher than I thought. Love to see soppy Danica come unstuck big time!!



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

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