Sunday, May 06, 2007
Jimmie Johnson wins at Richmond
It was raining most of Saturday in Richmond so it wasn't surprising when last night's Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 in the NASCAR Nextel Cup was postponed until Sunday. Jim Stewart? He's a Crown Royal contest winner. The main topic of discussion has been the dominence of Hendrick Motorsports at the Car Of Tomorrow races. Will that continue in Richmond? Also, Dale Jarrett didn't qualify and his consecutive race streak ended at 424. Jeff Gordon won the pole again.
NASCAR announced that there would be a competition caution on lap 40. Jeff Gordon's #24 Dupont Chevy leads. Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy takes the lead on lap 33. Everyone pits when the competition caution comes out. Gordon leads but Tony Raines' #96 DLP/Shrek the Third Chevy takes two tires for second. Gordon continues to lead until Denny Hamlin's #11 FedEx Chevy takes the lead on lap 129. Then Kevin Harvick's #29 Reese's Chevy takes the lead on lap 131. While Hamlin & Harvick trade the lead, Jeff Burton's #31 Lenox Industrial Tools Chevy drops out with engine failure on lap 147. He drops to fifth in the points.
Green flag pit stops begin on lap 201. Kevin Harvick leads when pit stops cycle through on lap 215. A caution comes out on lap 251 when JJ Yeley's #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy hits the wall. Everyone pits. Kevin Harvick is leaving his pit while David Ragan's #6 AAA Ford is entering his and Harvick clips Ragan. Harvick's right front fender is damaged. Harvick does come back to finish seventh but he could have won this race. Theoretically the spotter should have alerted Harvick to Ragan's prescence but things happen so quickly that it might not have helped.
Kurt Busch's #2 Miller Lite Dodge leads after pit stops. David Gilliland's #38 M&Ms Ford hits the inside wall to bring out a caution on lap 278. Kurt Busch pits but most of the leaders don't. Busch never gets back to the front and finishes fifth. Jimmie Johnson leads. A debris caurion comes out on lap 319. Everyone makes final pit stops. Johnson continues to lead. Kyle Busch's #5 Kellogg's/Carquest Chevy takes the lead on lap 357 just as Greg Biffle's #16 3M Ford hits the wall to bring out a caution. Busch continues to lead. Ward Burton's #4 State Water Heaters Chevy crashes into Ricky Rudd's #88 Pedigree Dog Food Ford to bring out a caution on lap 372. Jimmie Johnson gets a better restart and passes Busch for the lead on lap 382. Johnson holds on for the win.
Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and car owner Rick Hendrick for the win. Three Hendrick cars finished in the top four. Jeff Gordon continues to lead the points and Johnson has moved into second. Next week is Darlington. Here's a video recap of the race and the top ten.
1.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
2.5/Kyle Busch/Kellogg's-Carquest/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
3.11/Denny Hamlin/FedEx/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
4.24/Jeff Gordon/Dupont/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
5.2/Kurt Busch/Miller Lite/Dodge/Roger Penske
6.12/Ryan Newman/Alltell/Dodge/Roger Penske
7.29/Kevin Harvick/Reese's/Chevy/Richard Childress
8.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
9.07/Clint Bowyer/DIRECTV/Chevy/Richard Childress
10.17/Matt Kenseth/DeWalt Tools/Ford/Jack Roush