Johnson Reclaims Charlotte Glory with Superb Coca-Cola 600 Performance

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

From Lap 1 to Lap 400, Sunday Night at Charlotte belonged solely to Jimmie Johnson. Johnson and his No. 48 team dominated as they perfectly executed a game plan in route to their first victory of the year.

Rarely does this team go too far into the season without scoring a victory. However, the team wasn’t fazed by the somewhat slow start. This was demonstrated in the race as Johnson once again proved why he’s a six-time champion.

Throughout the race, it was typically one of three drivers leading the field. Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Matt Kenseth all had fast cars and found themselves leading for large portions of the event.

Harvick was first to take the top spot away from Johnson on Lap 76. He maintained the lead until the ensuing restart after the second caution when Johnson soared back by.

Brad Keselowski was another driver who stuck his nose out front at different points in the race as he and Paul Wolfe worked out a different pit strategy. The strategy was successful in getting the No. 2 car out front; however it did not work out in their favor at the end as they placed tenth at the end of the night.

Unlike last year’s Coca-Cola 600, only one multi-car incident occurred throughout the race. On Lap 235, Marcos Ambrose spun off turn 4. As drivers attempted to slow and avoid the accident, Josh Wise came in hot and hit the back of Landon Cassill which started a chain reaction. Brian Scott and Danica Patrick were also involved.

Kenseth made his way to the top spot on Lap 271. He was able to hold the position for a majority of the race’s second half.

Kurt Busch’s attempt at the Indianapolis-Charlotte double was going fine until Lap 273. Busch had placed sixth in the Indianapolis 500 earlier, but would finish 40th in Charlotte after blowing his engine 906 miles into his attempt at completing 1,100 throughout the day.

Despite the disappointing end, Busch was upbeat and satisfied about the day as a whole. “A day I’ll never forget” was how Busch described his attempt at the double to FOX.

The eighth and final caution of the night came with 22 laps remaining. Jeff Gordon was the leader on the ensuing restart; however Kenseth would quickly regain the spot.

Johnson made the winning move with eight laps to go when he passed Kenseth. He then cruised to victory as he frequently did prior to the repave of the track in 2006.

Harvick came home second after being a threat early on. Kenseth couldn’t get the job done and ended up third. He still has yet to score a victory in 2014.

NASCAR’s two home weeks concluded with the waving of the checkered flag. Now, all three series head to Delaware for a battle with the Monster Mile at Dover next weekend.

Results via ESPN.com

POS DRIVER CAR MANUFACTURER LAPS MONEY START LED PTS BONUS PENALTY
1 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet 400 1 163 48 5 0
2 Kevin Harvick 4 Chevrolet 400 11 102 43 1 0
3 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota 400 12 33 42 1 0
4 Carl Edwards 99 Ford 400 22 4 41 1 0
5 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet 400 26 34 40 1 0
6 Brian Vickers 55 Toyota 400 16 0 38 0 0
7 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet 400 27 8 38 1 0
8 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet 400 21 0 36 0 0
9 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota 400 7 0 35 0 0
10 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford 400 2 42 35 1 0
11 Aric Almirola 43 Ford 400 13 1 34 1 0
12 Joey Logano 22 Ford 400 8 0 32 0 0
13 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet 400 18 0 31 0 0
14 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet 399 3 0 30 0 0
15 Ryan Newman 31 Chevrolet 399 42 0 29 0 0
16 Austin Dillon 3 Chevrolet 399 32 0 28 0 0
17 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota 399 5 0 27 0 0
18 Kyle Larson 42 Chevrolet 398 25 0 26 0 0
19 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 88 Chevrolet 398 10 13 26 1 0
20 Trevor Bayne 21 Ford 398 14 0 0 0 0
21 Greg Biffle 16 Ford 398 24 0 23 0 0
22 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota 398 6 0 22 0 0
23 AJ Allmendinger 47 Chevrolet 398 20 0 21 0 0
24 Casey Mears 13 Chevrolet 398 34 0 20 0 0
25 Martin Truex Jr. 78 Chevrolet 398 15 0 19 0 0
26 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 17 Ford 397 23 0 18 0 0
27 Cole Whitt 26 Toyota 397 31 0 17 0 0
28 Michael Annett 7 Chevrolet 396 39 0 16 0 0
29 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford 396 9 0 15 0 0
30 Michael McDowell 95 Ford 396 30 0 14 0 0
31 David Ragan 34 Ford 395 35 0 13 0 0
32 Brian Scott 33 Chevrolet 395 19 0 0 0 0
33 Alex Bowman 23 Toyota 392 29 0 11 0 0
34 Joe Nemechek 66 Toyota 390 38 0 0 0 0
35 Blake Koch 32 Ford 390 43 0 0 0 0
36 Landon Cassill 40 Chevrolet 382 40 0 0 0 0
37 Justin Allgaier 51 Chevrolet 378 17 0 7 0 0
38 Ryan Truex 83 Toyota 303 36 0 6 0 0
39 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet 281 4 0 5 0 0
40 Kurt Busch 41 Chevrolet 271 28 0 4 0 0
41 Josh Wise 98 Chevrolet 229 37 0 3 0 0
42 Reed Sorenson 36 Chevrolet 162 41 0 2 0 0
43 David Gilliland 38 Ford 160 33 0 1 0 0
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