Sunday, November 19, 2006
Jimmie Johnson wins 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup
Jimmie Johnson had things under control going into the NASCAR Nextel Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With a 63 point lead over Matt Kenseth, Johnson needed to finish 12th to clinch the Nextel Cup Championship. And Matt Kenseth would have to win the race. It looked very good for Johnson but you never know. This race also featured the Nextel Cup debut of F1 star Juan Pablo Montoya. He started 30th. Kasey Kahne won the pole.
Kasey Kahne-#9 Chrysler Financial Dodge jumped out to the lead. Kurt Busch-#2 Miller Lite Dodge crashes for the second time on lap 15. A spring rubber pokes a hole in Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy grille. He pits to tape up the hole and restarts 39th. This could be trouble as he could get caught up in someone else's wreck. Kyle Busch-#5 Kellogg's Chevy takes the lead on lap 19. A debris caution comes out on lap 44. Everyone pits and Kahne leads. Johnson has moved up to 15th.
After green flag pit stops, Kyle Busch hits the wall on lap 115 to bring out a caution. Several cars pit but Dale Earnhardt Jr-#8 Budweiser Chevy & Martin Truex Jr-#1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy stay out. Earnhardt is faster on older tires. A Dave Blaney-#22 Caterpillar Dodge flat tire brings out a caution on lap 160. Everyone pits and Earnhardt has a lug nut problem on pit road. Truex leads. Robby Gordon-#7 Menards Chevy crashes on lap 188. Most guys pit but five stay out led by Elliot Sadler-#19 UAW/Dodge Dealers Dodge. Mike Bliss-#49 What's Online.com Dodge blows an engine on lap 204. Everyone makes what could be final pit stops with varying strategies. Kasey Kahne takes fuel only to lead. Jimmie Johnson is hovering sround the top ten. He'll be OK if he stays out of trouble.
Greg Biffle-#16 National Guard Ford takes the lead on lap 213. Ryan Newman-#12 Alltel Dodge cuts a tire and spins on lap 246. Everyone pits except J.J. Yeley-#18 Interstate Batteries Chevy. Newman would hit Juan Pablo Montoya-#30 Texaco Havoline Dodge and he has a fiery crash on lap 251. Apparently Newman was upset with Monyoya for the earlier incident. NASCAR should have parked Newman but they will speak to him after the race and likely fine him. NASCAR stops the race so the track can be cleaned up. Greg Biffle takes the lead on lap 256. Yeley runs out of fuel on lap 265. Biffle wins and Jimmie Johnson finishes 9th to clinch the Nextel Cup.
Congratulations to Greg Biffle, crew chief Doug Richert and car owner Jack Roush for the win. Biffle has won this race three years straight. Martin Truex Jr. gets a career best second place finish. Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and car owner Rick Hendrick on winning the Nextel Cup. That's it for 2006 and things should be very interesting in 2007. Here's the top ten of today's race.
1.16/Greg Biffle/National Guard/Ford/Jack Roush
2.1/Martin Truex Jr./Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
3.11/Denny Hamlin/FedEx/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
4.9/Kasey Kahne/Chrysler Financial/Dodge/Ray Evernham
5.29/Kevin Harvick/GM Goodwrench/Chevy/Richard Childress
6.17/Matt Kenseth/DeWalt Tools/Ford/Jack Roush
7.10/Scott Riggs/Valvoline/Dodge/Ray Evernham
8.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush
9.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
10.07/Clint Bowyer/Jack Daniels/Chevy/Richard Childress