Win Gives Johnson Legendary Daytona Status

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

It hasn’t been done since 1982. Sweeping both the Daytona races in one year. Jimmie Johnson broke the 30 year dry spell Saturday Night with his win in the Coke Zero 400. You could find him up front all night and he held off his competitors when the time came. The race was classic Daytona with carnage and nail-biting racing. Restrictor-plate racing doesn’t get any better than that and this race proved it.

Lap 32 was when Johnson found the front for the first time of the night and he wouldn’t be away from that spot for much more of the race.

The first big wreck of the night occurred on lap 99 when Denny Hamlin, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Martin Truex Jr. crashed on the short-shoot off of turn 4. Truex got loose and came down on Hamlin, causing Hamlin to spin and Montoya hit Hamlin on the side of his machine. Truex spun all the way down to the inside wall prior to pit road and hit the wall hard. Everyone was okay and that wasn’t the last time Hamlin saw the wall in the race.

Another wreck broke out with 33 laps to go when a few separate incidents formed the big one. Marcos Ambrose got into David Stremme, putting Stremme into the wall and behind them; A.J Allmendinger spun and got into Aric Almirola. Almirola went up into Greg Biffle and they both had hard impacts.

It was getting close to crunch-time when the next accident broke-out. With 11 laps to go, a huge incident on the frontstretch saw Denny Hamlin’s car get totaled along with Allmendinger’s machine. Hamlin got loose on his own and turned right up into the wall. Matt Kenseth had to turn down the track to avoid him which collected Jeff Gordon and David Reutimann who were directly under Kenseth Allmendinger had nowhere to go so he plowed into Hamlin and so did Dave Blaney. This massive wreck brought out the race’s only red flag.

Once the cars got rolling again, it was Johnson out front, but with new challengers like Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart up with him. Kasey Kahne was also there, but a costly mistake by Johnson took his teammate out of contention.

The sixth caution of the night was for Kahne when he got the short end of the stick in a chain reaction. Johnson got into Ambrose going down the backstretch and Ambrose got into Kahne, sending him into the inside wall. That destroyed his car along with his hopes of claiming his first Daytona victory.

A green-white-checkered finish was in-store next. The field made it cleanly back to the white flag, but then, everything started breaking loose.

First, it was cars getting tangled up in turn 2. Carl Edwards, Joe Nemechek, Scott Speed, Bobby Labonte, and Landon Cassill were racing hard for position towards the back of the pack and they got together going into the turn to cause the wreck.

NASCAR didn’t throw the yellow and the rest of the field raced back to the line. Johnson got a decent size advantage going into turn 3 and second place Tony Stewart was never able to catch him. Johnson won, but behind him, “…all hell broke loose” according to Clint Bowyer.

It all started when David Gilliland turned Danica Patrick coming through the tri-oval and seven other cars wrecked past the line. Drivers involved were Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, J.J Yeley, Casey Mears, Jeff Burton, and Terry Labonte. They all came home with decent finishes, but their cars were trashed.

Johnson started celebrating in victory lane while the clean-up continued and it was his second time there this season. He was also there in February for the 500, but this win was a little tougher to get. Everyone had the Gen 6 figured out this time, so it wasn’t as much of a laid back race.

Johnson and Bobby Allison stand together in the history books now as the only two drivers to complete the Daytona sweep. A feat hard to accomplish since it hasn’t been done in nearly 30 years.

This win gives the five-time champion even more momentum heading into the race to the Chase since he’s doing all he can to take the number one seed. Win number four for Johnson should be plenty to give him that seed, but a tough challenge by Kenseth may force him to continue to go all-out for the victory.

By Jason Schultz

Results via ESPN.com

POS DRIVER CAR MANUFACTURER

LAPS

MONEY

START

LED

PTS

BONUS

PENALTY

1 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet

161

8

93

48

5

0

2 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet

161

13

0

42

0

0

3 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet

161

26

0

41

0

0

4 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota

161

3

0

40

0

0

5 Michael Waltrip 55 Toyota

161

7

0

39

0

0

6 Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet

161

22

0

38

0

0

7 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet

161

27

8

38

1

0

8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 88 Chevrolet

161

16

0

36

0

0

9 Casey Mears 13 Ford

161

19

0

35

0

0

10 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet

160

21

0

34

0

0

11 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 17 Ford

161

9

0

33

0

0

12 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota

161

1

29

33

1

0

13 J.J. Yeley 36 Chevrolet

161

32

2

32

1

0

14 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet

161

11

0

30

0

0

15 David Gilliland 38 Ford

161

28

1

30

1

0

16 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet

161

17

1

29

1

0

17 Greg Biffle 16 Ford

161

10

0

27

0

0

18 Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota

161

40

1

27

1

0

19 Terry Labonte 32 Ford

161

39

0

25

0

0

20 Trevor Bayne 21 Ford

161

20

0

0

0

0

21 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford

161

15

0

23

0

0

22 David Ragan 34 Ford

161

38

1

23

1

0

23 Bobby Labonte 47 Toyota

161

34

0

21

0

0

24 Landon Cassill 33 Chevrolet

162

43

1

0

0

0

25 Josh Wise 35 Ford

161

37

1

0

0

0

26 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford

161

25

0

18

0

0

27 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota

161

42

0

0

0

0

28 Scott Speed 95 Ford

161

36

0

16

0

0

29 Carl Edwards 99 Ford

160

12

0

15

0

0

30 David Reutimann 83 Toyota

159

41

0

14

0

0

31 Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet

157

29

0

13

0

0

32 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet

155

4

0

12

0

0

33 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota

154

2

1

12

1

0

34 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet

151

23

0

10

0

0

35 AJ Allmendinger 51 Chevrolet

149

33

0

9

0

0

36 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota

149

24

20

9

1

0

37 David Stremme 30 Toyota

127

35

0

7

0

0

38 Aric Almirola 43 Ford

127

30

1

7

1

0

39 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet

126

14

2

6

1

0

40 Joey Logano 22 Ford

105

18

0

4

0

0

41 Martin Truex Jr. 56 Toyota

97

5

0

3

0

0

42 Michael McDowell 98 Ford

33

31

0

2

0

0

43 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet

23

6

0

1

0

0

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s