Sunday, July 7, 2013

Johnson Dominates Coke Zero 400

 Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Jimmie Johnson dominated the Coke Zero 400 from Daytona International Speedway on his way to his fourth win of the season.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Johnson led 94 of the 161 laps during his dominating performance on Saturday night.  Johnson took the lead on lap 33, and he led for most of the remaining laps.  The win was Johnson's fourth of the year, tying him with Matt Kenseth for the most of any driver.

The win also puts Johnson in elite company.  With the victory, Johnson became the first driver to sweep the two race at Daytona since Bobby Allison did it in 1982.  Johnson said he was happy to be on the same level as Allison.

"That's amazing," Johnson said.  "I watched Bobby Allison, and to do anything that Bobby's done is pretty special."

Johnson also said that he knew he had a strong car all night by dominating the race.

"That's tough to do at a plate track," Johnson said.  "I don't know if I really made a bad move all night.  I'm very proud of the night."

Kyle Busch started on the pole, and he jumped out to the lead on the first lap.  He held off the field until the first caution on lap 24 for a blown engine by Paul Menard.  Busch led on the following restart, but Johnson quickly took the lead on lap 33.

Johnson led until a caution on lap 70 shuffled the field.  Denny Hamlin stayed out under the caution, and he took over the lead when the rest of the field pitted.  Jamie McMurray took the lead on lap 93, and he led when the caution came out on lap 99 for a spin that involved Hamlin, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Martin Truex Jr.

McMurray led on the restart, but Johnson took the lead for the final time on lap 105.  The next caution came out on lap 127 for a wreck that collected Aric Almirola, David Stremme, Greg Biffle, and AJ Allmendinger.
With 11 laps to go, the first big wreck erupted when Hamlin spun in front of the field, and collected Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Allmendinger, David Reutimann, and Dave Blaney.  The race was red-flagged while the track was cleaned up, but the race went back green with just seven laps to go.

With five laps to go, there was a single-car accident when Marcos Ambrose slammed into Kasey Kahne, causing him to spin into the inside wall.  The caution set up a green-white-checkered finish to end the race.
On the final lap, a wreck erupted in Turn 1.  The wreck collected Carl Edwards, Scott Speed, Bobby Labonte, Joe Nemechek, Ambrose, and Landon Cassill.  Because the wreck happened behind the leaders, the race continued on without a caution, setting up a mad dash to the finish.

While Johnson raced towards the finish line, another wreck occurred around mid-pack.  That wreck collected Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Newman, Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle, J.J. Yeley, David Gilliland, and Terry Labonte.

Here are the unofficial results:

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

Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for a Sunday afternoon race.  The Camping World RV Sales 301 will begin at 1:00 p.m. ET, only on TNT.

No comments:

Post a Comment