for your iPhone
for your iPad
NASCAR

NASCAR Links

Scanner Frequencies

Meet the Staff

2014 Schedule

Jimmie Johnson dominates in Kansas

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Sunday, October 09, 2011

Advertisement

Jimmie Johnson
He’s baaaack!

Jimmie Johnson answered all questions about his readiness to contend for a sixth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup title with a dominating performance in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Johnson held off hard-charging Kasey Kahne in a green-white-checkered-flag finish set up by Jeff Gordon’s blown engine on Lap 265. Johnson beat Kahne to the finish line by .548 seconds in a race that went five laps past its scheduled distance of 267 laps.

The victory was Johnson’s second of the season, the 55th of his career and the 20th in 74 career Chase races. He left Kansas tied with Rusty Wallace for eighth on the all-time Cup win list.

Brad Keselowski came home third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards, who salvaged a top five despite falling a lap down earlier in the event.

Edwards retained the lead in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by one point over Kevin Harvick, who salvaged a hard-fought sixth-place finish. Johnson moved closer to the top of the standings, leaving Kansas in third place, four points behind Edwards.

With his third top five in four Chase races, Keselowski is fourth, trailing Edwards by 11 points with six races left in the Chase. Kenseth is fifth, 12 points back.

"We’ve been knocking on the door all year long," said Johnson, who led 197 laps. "We’ve got beat in some cases, and we’ve beat ourselves in others. … We did our part, and we’ll just see if we can do it six more times."

So is a sixth title in the cards?

"We’re doing the right things," Johnson said. "You just don’t know. Sure, this is a huge, huge step in the right direction, but in six races a lot can happen. So I don’t want to get overly excited. We’ve got to go out there and race for this thing."

Indeed, Johnson had to race for the win on Sunday. When Gordon’s engine exploded, it wiped out a two-second lead. On the restart on Lap 271, Johnson surprised Kahne by hitting the gas early, and Kahne spun his tires trying to regroup. The advantage Johnson gained on the start proved decisive.

"On that restart, Brad kind of gave me a nice push, but I couldn’t really get to (Johnson)," Kahne said. "I thought maybe, getting into (Turn) 3, I would go high, and he kind of entered in the middle and creeped his way to the top. I just really didn’t have a shot at them there."

A caution for debris on Lap 205 ended a green-flag run that began with a restart on Lap 89 and included two rounds of green-flag pit stops. Before the yellow flew, Johnson had built a lead of more than 12 seconds over second-place Tony Stewart, and Edwards, Chase co-leader entering the event, had fallen one lap down in 16th position.

Edwards got his lap back, however, when Landon Cassill’s spin through the tri-oval grass on Lap 220 brought out the fourth caution. Edwards got a free pass back to the lead lap as the highest-scored driver one lap down. Pit stops under the yellow with 47 scheduled laps left took fuel conservation out of the equation and allowed the top drivers to race all-out for the win.

Notes: The victory was the 199th for Hendrick Motorsports. … The win also gave Chevrolet the 2011 manufacturer’s championship, assuming a Chevrolet will start each of the final six races. … A slide through his pit stall under the final caution cost Stewart dearly. After running in the top five most of the afternoon, Stewart fell to 15th at the finish and is seventh in the standings, 19 points behind Edwards. … Johnson’s 197 laps led are his highest total for a single race at a 1.5-mile speedway other than Charlotte.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 19 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 48/2 272 Running
2 5 4 Kasey Kahne Toyota Red Bull 42/0 272 Running
3 12 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 42/1 272 Running
4 4 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Crown Royal 41/1 272 Running
5 2 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 39/0 272 Running
6 14 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 38/0 272 Running
7 24 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 37/0 272 Running
8 1 16 Greg Biffle Ford Sherwin-Williams 37/1 272 Running
9 21 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Dewalt 35/0 272 Running
10 9 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Carquest / GoDaddy.com 34/0 272 Running
11 3 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 34/1 272 Running
12 6 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Schrock Cabinetry / Menards 32/0 272 Running
13 17 22 Kurt Busch Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 32/1 272 Running
14 18 88 D Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / Amp Energy 30/0 272 Running
15 23 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 29/0 272 Running
16 7 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 28/0 272 Running
17 41 51 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Thank A Teacher Today  0 272 Running
18 11 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Haas Automation 26/0 272 Running
19 15 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 25/0 272 Running
20 13 6 David Ragan Ford UPS "We Love Logistics" 24/0 272 Running
21 31 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 23/0 272 Running
22 29 1 J McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Arctic Cat 22/0 272 Running
23 34 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 21/0 272 Running
24 16 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 20/0 272 Running
25 22 43 A Allmendinger Ford Best Buy 19/0 270 Running
26 26 198 Austin Dillon Chevrolet President Ronald Reagan Centennial / Camping World 0 270 Running
27 36 38 Travis Kvapil Ford Long John Silver's 0 270 Running
28 42 32 Mike Bliss Ford Street King 0 270 Running
29 20 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 15/0 270 Running
30 33 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush's Best Baked Beans / Kingsford 14/0 269 Running
31 38 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Big Red 13/0 269 Running
32 30 34 David Gilliland Ford A&W All American Food 12/0 268 Running
33 25 46 Scott Speed Ford www. order greenstuff.com 0 266 Running
34 10 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 11/1 264 In Pit
35 27 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 9/0 264 Running
36 8 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 8/0 241 Running
37 35 71 Andy Lally * Ford Interstate Moving Services 7/0 72 In Pit
38 39 7 Reed Sorenson Dodge Speed Energy / Mapei / Menards 0 37 In Pit
39 40 66 Michael McDowell Toyota Victory Junction 5/0 30 In Pit
40 32 30 David Stremme Chevrolet Inception Motorsports 4/0 27 In Pit
41 43 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 0 18 In Pit
42 37 13 Casey Mears Toyota GEICO 2/0 16 In Pit
43 28 55 J.J. Yeley Ford Front Row Motorsports 1/0 12 In Pit

* Denotes Rookie

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article