Sunday, June 4, 2017

Johnson Makes History With Dover Victory

Originally written for CLNS Media.

Jimmie Johnson picked up his 11th victory at Dover International Speedway in the AAA Drive for Autism 400 on Sunday afternoon.

The race was dominated by two drivers; Kyle Larson led the most laps and Martin Truex Jr. won both stages.  Johnson had to work his way through the field after he was forced to start the race from the back of the pack, but he had worked his way up to the top 10 by the end of the first segment.
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Johnson passed Larson for the lead on the final restart, and the race ended when Ty Dillon made contact with Ryan Newman to start a big wreck coming out of turn 2.  Johnson was able to pass the overtime line entering turn 3 before the caution came out, and the race finished under yellow.

Johnson picked up his 83rd career victory, which tied him with NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough.  Johnson said he was excited to win while driving with a Yarborough-inspired helmet.

“I was a big Cale Yarborough fan,” Johnson said.  “To tie him at 83 wins…we just got the tribute helmet.  I wasn’t sure how quickly we’d get it done.”

Larson controlled the final restart as the leader, but he said Johnson did a better job at executing with the race on the line.

“He did what he had to do to get a fast launch like he did,” Larson said.  “He just took off better than I did.”

“He’s a seven-time champion for a reason…and he’s really good at executing.  I just got to get better at that.”

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

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

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