Jimmie Johnson Conquers The Monster Mile at Dover
The Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Raceway had a little bit of everything all mixed into one race, including a great finish. But one thing is clear: the dominant car won this race.
The green flag flew under sunny skies and great weather. Pole-sitter David Reutimann paced the field to the green and led until lap 3 when Juan-Pablo Montoya passed him for the top spot.
Reutimann didn’t hang back too long and by lap 6 he is leading again. Reed Sorenson ran strong early, taking his Target Dodge to the point and leading some laps.
NASCAR threw the caution at lap 31 so teams could inspect tire wear. The competition yellow provided teams the opportunity to make well needed adjustments on the cars.
On Lap 44 Tony Raines blew a tire, spreading debris on the track causing the second caution of the afternoon. Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson are clearly two of the fastest cars at this point.
Johnson led a pretty uneventful green flag run until the third caution waved for debris on Lap 117. Carl Edwards has join Johnson and Biffle as the quicker of the cars, and takes his turn at the top spot.
On Lap 164, Juan-Pablo Montoya, who was having a good day, blows a tire and scatters debris on the track causing another caution.
On Lap 231, second place runner Denny Hamlin blows a right front tire, sending him into the safer barrier causing the fifth caution of the day. Jimmie Johnson continues to dominate the race up to this point.
Lap 276 another debris caution flies. As the leaders pit Matt Kenseth and the “killer bees” get Matt onto the track first and Kenseth takes the green as the leader.
Matt enjoys the lead a whole four green flag laps before the Lowe's Chevy blows by him re-assuming the top spot.
On Lap 286 Robby Gordon and Paul Menard tangle coming out of turn 2 and crash into the inside wall on the back stretch.
Johnson leads the majority of the laps until lap 363 when another caution for debris flies. On the pit exchange some teams, including Greg Biffle, elect to take two tires only.
Johnson decides on four tires, and has a bad pit stop, putting him deep in the field. Biffle’s team gets Greg out first and he leads the field to the green flag.
On Lap 370 David Stremme, who was having a great day running in the top 10 at the time, hit the wall in turn 4 after contact with Mark Martin. Also spinning in the crash was David Reutimann. Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman have worked their way up to second and fourth, respectively, at this point behind Greg Biffle.
Jimmie Johnson is slowly working his way back to the front after the bad pit stop suffered earlier. The caution was a huge break for Johnson.
The final green flag flew on lap 373 setting up a frantic 27 lap to the checkers. By lap 380, Johnson had moved his way into third place behind Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart.
On lap 391, Stewart darted low underneath Biffle and took the top spot. One lap later Jimmie Johnson takes over second place. The final eight laps were classic as Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson battle for the win.
On lap 398, Johnson makes the pass, and never looks back. It is Johnson’s fourth win at Dover, and his second victory in the 2009 season.
Rounding out the top 10 included 2:Tony Stewart, 3:Greg Biffle, 4:Matt Kenseth, 5:Kurt Busch, 6:Kasey Kahne, 7:Carl Edwards, 8:Ryan Newman, 9:Casey Mears, 10:Mark Martin.
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