Dover Del., — Jimmie Johnson drove to victory lane in Sunday’s Fedex 400 at Dover International Speedway tying NASCAR greats Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for most wins at the Monster Mile.
Johnson had a dominating performance leading 289 of the 400 laps. Johnson called the performance a team effort.
“Clearly we had a fast race car, amazing pit stops,” Johnson said. “Strategy, when you lead the most laps, sometimes at the end the way the cautions fall it can backfire on the dominant car, and the way cautions fell today, it allowed us to really flex our muscle and bring home the win.”
“I think the way we protected the win was pit road,” added Johnson. “Last week (Charlotte) was hard on us, but this week these guys stepped up and did it every time I was on pit road.”
Second place finisher Kevin Harvick made up track position and said after making changes they are getting closer to wins. Harvick was happy with the results considering Dover is not high on the list of great performances.
“Well this never has been a really strong track for us,” said Harvick. “I feel like this is the best race we have ever run here.”
“To come here and do that and be able to be solid all day and not fluke into something is what we needed,” Harvick added.
Matt Kenseth finished third in a car that struggled with setups throughout the day.
“My team did a good job of getting good pit stops and making some adjustments to keep us in the game there,” said Kenseth. “I am happy to come home third with a car that didn’t drive the way we wanted it to.”
“Our end result, you can’t really complain about that,” Kenseth added.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was fourth, Clint Bowyer was fifth, and Aric Almirola was sixth. Martin Truex, Jr., was seventh, Joey Logano was eighth, pole sitter Mark Martin finished ninth, and last week’s winner Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-10.
Greg Biffle remains in the top spot of the Sprint Cup points standings only one point ahead of Kenseth, and 10 points ahead of Earnhardt. Hamlin (-22) is in the fourth spot, and Johnson is fifth (-33). Truex is 45 points back, and Harvick is 46 back. Tony Stewart (-79) managed to gain one spot to eighth despite being involved in a lap nine multi-car melee. Kyle Busch (-80) is ninth, and Bowyer takes the 10th spot back 81 points.
Other notes from the Fedex 400:
Carl Edwards brought out the third caution of the day with a blown right front tire on lap 164 while running fifth. Edwards said there was no indication of an issue with the tire before being forced up the track and into the wall. Edwards was frustrated, but was hopeful to get back on track and gain as many points as possible. Edwards finished 26th.
Kyle Busch had an engine expire on lap 204. Busch said the catastrophic problem involved a valve spring hitting a piston. Busch said they were biding time trying to get to the checkered flag.
“We didn’t have enough for the front couple (Hendrick cars),” said Busch, who finished 29th. “We’ve won one here before by someone making a mistake hated that we give a post race interview this way rather than finishing the in the top-five.”
Jeff Burton also had an engine expire with only 37 laps remaining. Burton was running in the ninth position before retiring to the garage. Burton finished 22nd.