Jimmie Johnson once again sailed to the checkered flag ahead of his competition for his second victory in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race in 2012. Dominating 289 of 400 laps, Johnson and Team #48 flexed their collective muscle and announced that they were on the move for their sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
Johnson won Darlington before the All-Star break. He won the All-Star Race, a non-points race, and then the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Now, with a lovely paint scheme, Johnson found success again at Dover.
It seems the “Afro Circus” wig Johnson donned to promote the movie “Madagascar 3” did nothing to alter his luck and did much to lighten his image.
The 2012 FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks was Johnson’s 57th career victory tying him for eighth on the all-time list. It was also Johnson’s seventh win at the notorious “Monster Mile”, Dover International Speedway.
Kevin Harvick had his first good run of 2012 and at Dover, posting a second. Matt Kenseth had another solid finish with a third at the 1-mile concrete track. Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues his Top Five string (five in 2012) placing fourth. Clint Bowyer earned his best finish of 2012 with fifth.
Aric Almirola powered his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford to a pleasing sixth place finish. Bowyer’s teammate Martin Truex Jr. brought home seventh. The Nationwide winner from the day before, Joey Logano came in eighth. Kasey Kahne finished ninth, his seventh top 10 of 2012. Aussie Marcos Ambrose, Almirola’s teammate, sewed up the tenth position.
Greg Biffle, who finished 11th on Sunday’s race, maintains the NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead. He is followed by Matt Kenseth by the narrowest one point margin. Dale Earnhardt Jr. moved back up one spot to take over third while Denny Hamlin dropped one position down to fourth. Jimmie Johnson remains in fifth spot.
Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick are stuck another week at sixth and seventh place respectively.
Tony Stewart, who has been bedeviled recently, finished a dismal 25th, 69 laps down. An accident on Lap nine that involved Stewart, Landon Cassill, Regan Smith, and nine others began the race with a wreck that brought out cautions and took out contenders.
But, as bad as that seems, Stewart actually moved up one spot to occupy eighth. Kyle Busch, who blew an engine on lap 202, finished the race in 29th and fell one position to ninth. Clint Bowyer zoomed up two spots to tenth.
Jeff Gordon had a fast race car, but was once again snake bit, this time by a loose wheel and an unfortunate green flag pit stop that put him a lap down. Although he ended the race on the lead lap, his 13th place finish was disappointing and frustrating for him and the No. 24 team.
NASCAR racing remains in the northeast and returns to Pocono Raceway in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. The broadcast has moved to TNT with coverage beginning on Sunday, June 10th at 12 noon EST for the Pocono 400.
Enjoy the race and then please return here for my Pocono 400 Race Recap!
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