Jimmie Johnson dominated the race at Indianapolis today, leading 99 out of 160 laps. Johnson entered the record books of Indianapolis Motor Speedway by winning his fourth race at the track, tying teammate Jeff Gordon in stock cars and Johnson’s racing hero Rick Mears in open-wheel cars. Johnson took control of the race just before halfway and never let up.
Pole-sitter Denny Hamlin led early while outside pole-sitter Carl Edwards experienced problems. On lap 13, Edwards started experiencing issues, Edwards fell off pace and had to pit. His team couldn’t find any major issues so they sent him back out two laps down and in 39th place. Edwards can’t afford these things to happen if he wants a shot at making the Chase.
The first round of green-flag stops began on lap 26 and after they finished up, Johnson beat Hamlin off pit road to take the race lead. The first caution came out on lap 41 when Travis Kvapil’s car cut down a tire and hit the wall. The leaders pitted and Hamlin beat Johnson off pit road but Brad Keselowski stayed out and took the lead. Just after the restart, Johnson regained the lead.
The yellow flag waved again on lap 47 for Clint Bowyer who cut down a tire and spun around, the cut tire caused damage to Bowyer’s car so Bowyer pitted but remained on the lead lap. On lap 71, green-flag pit stops began again and Keselowski was the leader after the stops because he didn’t come down pit road. At the halfway mark in the race Keselowski led followed by Johnson, Gordon, Biffle and Kyle Busch. On lap 90, Keselowski pitted and Johnson became the leader.
The next caution came out on lap 94 for Casey Mears who had a part break and he left debris on the track. Brad Keselowski didn’t need to pit and he became race leader and Regan Smith was in second because he took fuel only during his pit stop. In turn two after the restart, Keselowski got loose and slid up the track and Regan Smith went under him to take the lead but not for long as Johnson passed Smith on the backstretch. With 50 to go, the Hendrick duo of Johnson and Gordon led.
With 35 to go the caution came out for Jeff Burton who cut a tire down and left debris on the racing surface. Greg Biffle was the leader on the restart but Johnson was right on his tail. Just a few laps after the restart, Johnson took the lead from Biffle. With 28 to go, the caution came out for a wreck involving the point’s leader. Going into turn one, Joey Logano got loose under Trevor Bayne and slid up the track and then he came down into Bobby Labonte and then back up into point’s leader Matt Kenseth. The wreck caused a lot of damage to Kenseth’s car, ending his day. Kenseth commented after the wreck about falling back in the pack and the racing action back there by saying “the further we got back, the dumber people drove.” That wreck created a shake up in the point’s standings.
That was the final caution of the day and on the restart Johnson drove away. Johnson didn’t look back for the final laps and crossed the finish line first. This was Johnson’s third point’s race victory of the year and his fourth career win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Johnson was pumped up in victory lane and reflected on his accomplishment at Indy and said it is “Such an honor to win here.” After Kenseth crashed out of the race, Johnson’s teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr inherited the points lead. Earnhardt Jr is leading the points of the first time since the 2004 season. Kyle Busch got some consistency back today by finishing second. Busch said he had nothing for Johnson today and that “(Johnson) was in his own country today.” A dominate performance by Johnson today proved that he is still the best driver out there. As the Chase nears, wins mean everything and Johnson is setting himself up nicely for a shot at a sixth Sprint Cup Championship.
Results via Nascar.com
|1||6||48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools||48/5||160||Running|
|4||20||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||AMP Energy / National Guard||40/0||160||Running|
|5||9||24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Drive to End Hunger||40/1||160||Running|
|6||1||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Express||39/1||160||Running|
|7||11||39||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet||Quicken Loans||37/0||160||Running|
|8||17||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||NAPA Auto Parts||36/0||160||Running|
|9||22||2||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite||36/1||160||Running|
|10||28||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Mobil 1 / Office Depot||34/0||160||Running|
|11||19||55||Mark Martin||Toyota||Aaron’s Dream Machine||33/0||160||Running|
|12||15||5||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Farmers Insurance||32/0||160||Running|
|13||27||29||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet||Jimmy Johns||31/0||160||Running|
|14||8||27||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Menards / Nibco||30/0||160||Running|
|15||33||15||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||5-hour Energy||29/0||160||Running|
|16||24||22||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||Shell / Pennzoil||0||160||Running|
|17||18||21||Trevor Bayne||Ford||Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center||0||160||Running|
|18||14||78||Regan Smith||Chevrolet||Furniture Row / Farm American||26/0||160||Running|
|22||16||1||Jamie McMurray||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops / Tracker||22/0||160||Running|
|24||26||30||David Stremme||Toyota||Inception Motorsports||20/0||160||Running|
|25||38||83||Landon Cassill||Toyota||Burger King||20/1||160||Running|
|26||29||47||Bobby Labonte||Toyota||Scott Products||19/1||160||Running|
|27||31||38||David Gilliland||Ford||Big Machine Records||17/0||160||Running|
|28||36||34||David Ragan||Ford||Scorpion Coatings / Al’s Liners||16/0||160||Running|
|30||42||32||Ken Schrader||Ford||Special Operations For America.org||14/0||156||Running|
|31||37||33||Stephen Leicht *||Chevrolet||Little Joes A
|33||3||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||Dollar General||11/0||144||Running|
|35||10||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford||Fifth Third Bank||10/1||132||Accident|
|37||30||93||Travis Kvapil||Toyota||Burger King||7/0||40||Accident|
|38||34||195||Scott Speed||Ford||Leavine Family Racing||6/0||23||Brakes|
|39||41||10||J.J. Yeley||Chevrolet||Tommy Baldwin Racing||5/0||20||Transmission|
|40||35||26||Josh Wise *||Chevrolet||Taco Bell||4/0||19||Brakes|
|41||40||23||Scott Riggs||Chevrolet||North Texas Pipe||3/0||14||Rear Gear|
|42||39||179||Mike Skinner||Ford||Koma Unwind||2/0||11||Rear Gear|
|43||43||119||Mike Bliss||Toyota||Humphrey Smith Racing||0||5||Engine|