Redemption for Hamlin, A Six Pack for Johnson

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

A forgettable 2013 season for Denny Hamlin ended on a high note Sunday afternoon at Homestead-Miami. Despite dismal performances throughout the year, Hamlin was able to bring a little light to his season with a win.  This victory will continue Hamlin’s streak of seven straight seasons with at least one win. Momentum going into the off-season may not add up to anything soon, but it could allow the No.11 to shine once 2014 gets underway.

It wasn’t just Hamlin celebrating in Miami, however. Jimmie Johnson was hoisting his sixth Sprint Cup following the race. Johnson escaped potential trouble throughout the day to secure a high enough finishing position for the championship. Johnson’s flawless Chase performance receives the credit for the title as the last ten races require perfection for the championship and the No.48 team did just that.

Johnson was being chased throughout the day in the points by Matt Kenseth. Kenseth needed to do one thing in the race and that was dominate. The first half of the race went that way, but Kenseth couldn’t regain the feel he had towards the end. Kenseth’s pit crew did all they could do with fast, finesse, and flawless pit stops. Towards the conclusion of the race, Kenseth was towards the front but a tough battle with Dale Earnhardt Jr. allowed Hamlin to pull away and the win slipped out of Kenseth’s grasp.

Earnhardt Jr. had one of his best days of the season with a car that looked capable of winning. He first led on lap 140 and then made it back out front at different points throughout the race. The lead was his on the final restart with 28 laps to go, but Hamlin eventually made the winning pass. Another great performance by Earnhardt Jr. closes out a Chase where he started slow, but eventually caught fire in route to placing fifth on the season

The only time Johnson saw trouble throughout the day was on a restart following a caution with 79 laps to go. Jeff Gordon couldn’t getting going and created an accordion effect which strung back to Johnson, causing the No.48 to wiggle and lose lots of ground. Johnson recovered, but he didn’t return to the front where he ran a majority of the race.

A bizarre situation brought out the eighth caution of the day. Paul Menard’s car caught fire in the right-rear portion and as he pitted, the right rear tire blew out. That sent the tire outwards and a loud explosion along with black smoke came with it. No injuries were reported following the incident.

Denny Hamlin proved to be too strong at the end of the race as he set sail as the laps wound down. This was Hamlin’s first victory of the season and his first trip to victory lane since New Hampshire in September 2012.

Johnson took care of his car towards the end of the race as he raced towards his sixth title. Once he got it, he and his No.48 team were ecstatic. Its Johnson’s sixth title in eight years and this puts him in a position to tie Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty’s seven titles in 2014.

The remarkable 2013 season comes to a close with a deserving champion. Jimmie Johnson put everything together this year and he was rewarded with another Sprint Cup trophy. The off-season looms ahead, but there are only 97 days until the Daytona 500.

Results via ESPN.com

POS DRIVER MANUFACTURER

LAPS

MONEY

START

LED

PTS

BONUS

PENALTY

1 Denny Hamlin Toyota

267

 

5

72

47

4

0

2 Matt Kenseth Toyota

267

 

1

144

44

2

0

3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet

267

 

21

28

42

1

0

4 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota

267

 

8

0

40

0

0

5 Clint Bowyer Toyota

267

 

25

0

39

0

0

6 Brad Keselowski Ford

267

 

4

9

39

1

0

7 Kyle Busch Toyota

267

 

11

0

37

0

0

8 Joey Logano Ford

267

 

3

0

36

0

0

9 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet

267

 

7

0

35

0

0

10 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet

267

 

6

8

35

1

0

11 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet

267

 

26

0

33

0

0

12 Carl Edwards Ford

267

 

18

0

32

0

0

13 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet

267

 

13

0

31

0

0

14 Elliott Sadler Toyota

267

 

10

0

0

0

0

15 Kyle Larson Chevrolet

267

 

20

1

0

0

0

16 Aric Almirola Ford

267

 

19

0

28

0

0

17 Ryan Newman Chevrolet

267

 

15

0

27

0

0

18 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet

267

 

27

0

26

0

0

19 Mark Martin Chevrolet

267

 

22

0

25

0

0

20 Danica Patrick Chevrolet

267

 

24

0

24

0

0

21 Kurt Busch Chevrolet

267

 

2

4

24

1

0

22 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford

267

 

9

0

22

0

0

23 Jeff Burton Chevrolet

267

 

14

0

21

0

0

24 Greg Biffle Ford

267

 

16

0

20

0

0

25 Parker Kligerman Toyota

267

 

30

0

0

0

0

26 Marcos Ambrose Ford

267

 

23

0

18

0

0

27 David Gilliland Ford

266

 

31

0

17

0

0

28 Casey Mears Ford

266

 

40

0

16

0

0

29 David Ragan Ford

266

 

29

1

16

1

0

30 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet

265

 

28

0

14

0

0

31 David Reutimann Toyota

265

 

32

0

13

0

0

32 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet

264

 

37

0

12

0

0

33 Landon Cassill Chevrolet

264

 

39

0

0

0

0

34 Ken Schrader Ford

263

 

41

0

10

0

0

35 Joe Nemechek Toyota

263

 

42

0

0

0

0

36 AJ Allmendinger Toyota

257

 

36

0

8

0

0

37 Travis Kvapil Toyota

248

 

33

0

7

0

0

38 Dave Blaney Chevrolet

242

 

38

0

6

0

0

39 Paul Menard Chevrolet

229

 

12

0

5

0

0

40 Trevor Bayne Ford

223

 

17

0

0

0

0

41 Josh Wise Ford

119

 

35

0

0

0

0

42 Tony Raines Chevrolet

104

 

43

0

0

0

0

43 Michael McDowell Ford

63

 

34

0

1

0

0

 

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