Monday, June 10, 2013

Johnson Crashes the Party

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Jimmie Johnson dominated the Party in the Poconos 400 on Sunday afternoon, leading 129 of 160 laps on his way to his third win of the season.

Nick Laham/Getty Images
Johnson's dominance started as soon as the green flag fell.  He started on pole after qualifying was rained out on Friday and the starting order was set by points.  Johnson quickly jumped out to the lead, and he only ever lost the lead during pit stops.

Johnson was flawless all day, beating everyone on the restarts with the race on the line.  Johnson said that while he had a great racecar, his engine was also very good.

"That's the best car I've had in a long time," Johnson told TNT.  "Not just a good racecar, but a good engine.  It's been a long time since I've won here, and I'm excited to do it."

Last week, Johnson lost the race after a questionable penalty on the final restart.  While it didn't make up for last week's frustration, Johnson said that it helped them move on.

"It doesn't make up for much, but we're a great race team and things don't keep us down," Johnson said.
The race started with long green flag runs, with the first caution not coming until lap 66.  The next caution fell on lap 125, and that kicked off a group of cautions that helped drivers save enough fuel to make it to the finish.

The final restart came with five laps to go, and Greg Biffle tried to get the lead away from Johnson, but Johnson drove away from Biffle's No. 16 car.  Biffle knew that he probably couldn't have done anything to get the lead.

"I really didn't have anything for Jimmie," Biffle said.  "I just wanted to get to his bumper and rough him up.  Jimmie was in a league of his own."

Biffle wound up finishing second, holding off a charge from Dale Earnhardt Jr., who ran up front all day.

Here are the unofficial results:

1. Jimmie Johnson                                                                                   
2. Greg Biffle
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Tony Stewart
5. Ryan Newman
6. Kyle Busch
7. Kurt Busch
8. Denny Hamlin
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Joey Logano
11. Jeff Burton
12. Jeff Gordon
13. Jamie McMurray
14. Juan Pablo Montoya
15. Clint Bowyer
16. Brad Keselowski
17. Marcos Ambrose
18. Carl Edwards
19. Mark Martin
20. Travis Kvapil
21. Aric Almirola
22. Casey Mears
23. Martin Truex Jr.
24. David Gilliland
25. Matt Kenseth
26. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
27. Bobby Labonte
28. David Stremme
29. Danica Patrick
30. Paul Menard
31. Dave Blaney
32. David Reutimann
33. AJ Allmendinger
34. Josh Wise
35. Timmy Hill
36. Kasey Kahne
37. David Ragan
38. Landon Cassill
39. J.J. Yeley
40. Michael McDowell
41. Scott Riggs
42. Joe Nemechek
43. Jason Leffler

Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for the first of two races there this season.  The Quicken Loans 400 can be seen next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET, only on TNT.

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