Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Jimmie Johnson Wins Rain-Delayed Food City 500

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Jimmie Johnson won the rain-delayed Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday afternoon.

Photo courtesy Adam Niemeyer
Johnson took the lead late in the race, and led the final 21 laps on his way to victory lane for the second-straight race weekend.  Johnson said he was happy his car handled well late and that he didn’t have to fight anyone for the lead in the closing laps.

“I was happy to get away at the end and not have to worry about Clint [Bowyer] or anybody else behind me,” Johnson said.  “Our cars have been very capable of running up front, and it’s been nice these last two weeks to execute from the start of the race.”

Leading up to the race, Bristol Motor Speedway staff sprayed a sticky substance known as VHT on the bottom lane of the track to add grip.  The track staff wanted the track to return to the “old Bristol,” with single-file racing with drivers using their bumpers to move one another out of the way.

Johnson said the racing was fun, and that the VHT helped the bottom lane compete with the top line.

“There were so many competitive passes and so much racing going on over the course of the event,” Johnson said.  “I think the bulk of the race they did a nice job with the VHT on the bottom…second line finally came in and a very exciting race.”

Kyle Larson led a race-high 202 laps, but a speeding penalty late in the race caused him to restart in the back of the pack.  Larson was able to recover to finish sixth, but said he was disappointed he cost himself a shot at the victory.

“I knew I gave the race away there,” Larson said.  “Disappointed in myself.  I was surprised I was able to line up with an opportunity there at the end.”

“I think even if I was able to get to the lead, I don’t think I would have won because Jimmie and Clint were way faster than I was.”

Unofficial results:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Clint Bowyer
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Joey Logano
6. Kyle Larson
7. Chase Elliott
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
10. Denny Hamlin
11. Trevor Bayne
12. Jamie McMurray
13. Austin Dillon
14. Ryan Newman
15. Ty Dillon
16. Paul Menard
17. Erik Jones
18. Daniel Suarez
19. Matt DiBenedetto
20. Kasey Kahne
21. Cole Whitt
22. Aric Almirola
23. David Ragan
24. Corey LaJoie
25. Kurt Busch
26. Michael McDowell
27. Jeffrey Earnhardt
28. Reed Sorenson
29. Gray Gaulding
30. AJ Allmendinger
31. Derrike Cope
32. Landon Cassill
33. Ryan Blaney
34. Brad Keselowski
35. Kyle Busch
36. Danica Patrick
37. Timmy Hill
38. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
39. Chris Buescher

Photo courtesy Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Thanks to Adam Niemeyer for the photo of Jimmie Johnson on Monday.  Check out more of his work on his blog.

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