Hendrick Dominance Continues, Johnson Wins at Dover

Johnson celebrates in victory lane 
Photo – Getty Images


By Jason Schultz


Jimmie Johnson wins his third race in the last four weeks Sunday afternoon at Dover International Speedway. 


Johnson gives fans a dominating performance the entire race, as Hendrick Motorsports continues its string of wins with its fourth straight victory. All four Hendrick cars were competitive, running up front all day and consistently in the top-five – top-ten. But it was Jimmie Johnson celebrating in victory lane at the end of the race.


And it was Jimmie Johnson leading the first six laps before pole-sitter Mark Martin retakes the lead. 


The first caution of the day comes out early with controversy on lap ten and the biggest wreck in the 2012 season. Tony Stewart makes contact with Landon Cassill coming out of turn two, turning Cassill sideways. Regan Smith was running below Stewart as Stewart also goes low to avoid making any further contact with Cassill and results in Smith turning Stewart. 


Cars start sliding down the banked backstretch and more cars pile into the fray. After Juan Pablo Montoya slides in, Dave Blaney gets into Michael McDowell with McDowell spinning into the wreck and collecting a hand-full of more cars. 


Scott Speed makes a hard hit on Landon Cassill after the cars were still slowing down and the track becomes impassable. The red flag waves to clean up all of the debris scattered on the backstretch. 


This incident was similar to a 2008 wreck at Dover, also with cars wrecking and blocking the backstretch, and with other cars piling into the mess on the track. 


Overall, 13 cars were involved in the wreck, including; Casey Mears, Tony Stewart, Reed Sorenson, Stephen Leicht, Dave Blaney, David Gilliland, Juan Pablo Montoya, Regan Smith, Scott Speed, Landon Cassill, Joe Nemechek, Travis Kvapil and Michael McDowell. Tony Stewart commenting afterward about the wreck said, he was in the “wrong place at the wrong time.” 


Considering races at Daytona and Talladega already this season, it is surprising, the biggest wreck of the season occurs at Dover. The red flag lasts for almost 20 minutes while crews work diligently to get the track ready for more racing. 


On lap 30, Jimmie Johnson passes Mark Martin for the lead after Martin leads every lap but six up to this point. 


The first round of green-flag pit stops begin on lap 69, with Johnson and Martin swapping the lead once again after the pit stops. By lap 90, Johnson retakes the lead. 


The second caution of the day came out on lap 111 as David Reutimann becomes the first to lose an engine. 


On lap 165, one of the favorites to win the race, Carl Edwards, hit the wall after a blown tire. Edwards goes behind the wall for repairs but eventually comes back out and finishes in 26th place. 


Kyle Busch experiences problems around halfway when his engine let go. Kyle commenting in the garage area said, he “couldn’t keep up with the track.” After a decent last few weeks for Busch, this was a disappointment for the No.18 crew. 


The next caution comes out on lap 226 for debris in turn four, leading to an issue that may have cost Kevin Harvick a race win. Harvick came into the pits third and overshot his pit stall, costing him valuable track position. 


On the restart, Jeff Gordon is the leader and on lap 246, Jimmie Johnson takes the lead from Jeff Gordon, as the No. 24 car starts experiencing major issues and goes to pit road. 


After another round of green-flag pit stops, Jeff Gordon, who pitted earlier, stays out and inherits the race lead. With 76 laps to go, Jeff Gordon gives up the lead to pit, leaving Jimmie Johnson as the new leader. 


With 55 laps to go, Kurt Busch blows an engine, ending his day; and the third blown engine of the day occurs with 39 laps to go as Jeff Burton, who was having a great run, blows an engine. 


Coming to the checkered flag, Kevin Harvick is unable to catch Johnson who goes on to win his second point’s race of the season. 


In victory lane, Jimmie Johnson says, the victory is a “team effort.” He also took time to thank long-time NASCAR broadcaster, Dick Berggren, on a great career. 


Bergeren, 70, is retiring from broadcasting after NASCAR on FOX’s final broadcast of the season today in Dover. 


Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports continue their winning streak at Dover 


Next week the Sprint Cup Series heads to newly repaved Pocono Raceway for an exciting race. Make sure to tune-in to TNT for next week’s race.


Results & Point Standings via Nascar.com 

SPONSOR
STATUS
1
2
48
Chevrolet
Lowe’s Madagascar
48/5
400
Running
2
6
29
Chevrolet
Jimmy Johns
42/0
400
Running
3
5
17
Ford
Best Buy
42/1
400
Running
4
17
88
Chevrolet
AMP Energy / Diet Mtn. Dew / National Guard
41/1
400
Running
5
4
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
39/0
400
Running
6
12
43
Ford
Jani-King / Smithfield
38/0
400
Running
7
18
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
37/0
400
Running
8
11
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
36/0
400
Running
9
13
5
Chevrolet
HendrickCars.com
35/0
400
Running
10
21
9
Ford
Stanley
34/0
400
Running
11
7
16
Ford
3M / Heilind (EMD)
33/0
400
Running
12
16
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
32/0
400
Running
13
14
24
Chevrolet
DuPont
32/1
400
Running
14
1
55
Toyota
Aaron’s Dream Machine
31/1
400
Running
15
3
39
Chevrolet
Quicken Loans
29/0
400
Running
16
23
22
Dodge
Shell / Pennzoil
28/0
400
Running
17
20
27
Chevrolet
Menards / Pittsburgh Paints
27/0
400
Running
18
10
11
Toyota
FedEx Freight / Autism Speaks
27/1
400
Running
19
24
1
Chevrolet
Bass Pro Shops / Allstate
25/0
400
Running
20
22
47
Toyota
Scott Products
24/0
399
Running
21
28
34
Ford
MHP / 8 Hour Alert
24/1
398
Running
22
15
31
Chevrolet
BB&T
22/0
364
Engine
23
42
93
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
21/0
348
Running
24
9
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
20/0
338
Engine
25
29
14
Chevrolet
Mobil 1 / Office Depot
19/0
331
Running
26
19
99
Ford
Subway
18/0
318
Running
27
26
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row / CSX “Play it Safe”
17/0
306
Running
28
31
42
Chevrolet
Target
16/0
296
Running
29
8
18
Toyota
M&M’s
15/0
202
Engine
30
38
32
Ford
FAS Lane Racing
0
124
Accident
31
39
10
Chevrolet
Tommy Baldwin Racing
13/0
110
Engine
32
41
36
Chevrolet
Tommy Baldwin Racing
12/0
65
Accident
33
32
30
Toyota
Inception Motorsports
11/0
63
Overheating
34
34
249
Toyota
America Israel Racing / JPO Absorbents
10/0
41
Overheating
35
37
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes A
utos.com
9/0
29
Accident
36
36
119
Toyota
Humphrey Smith Racing
0
23
Steering
37
43
23
Chevrolet
North Texas Pipe
7/0
21
Vibration
38
27
83
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
6/0
9
Accident
39
35
87
Toyota
AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves
0
9
Accident
40
30
38
Ford
Autism Speaks
4/0
9
Accident
41
40
13
Ford
GEICO
3/0
8
Accident
42
33
98
Ford
Phil Parsons Racing
2/0
8
Accident
43
25
179
Ford
Team Kyle / Koma Unwind
1/0
8
Accident

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