JOHNSON WINS SECOND ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD TITLE INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, July 27, 2008 -- Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet team survived a challenging 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard to become a two-time winner of the race,...
JOHNSON WINS SECOND ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD TITLE
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, July 27, 2008 -- Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet team survived a challenging 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard to become a two-time winner of the race, beating a late-race challenge from Carl Edwards to win by .332 of a second on July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Johnson's win was his second in the last three years, having won in 2006, and it gave Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick a record sixth win at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Johnson's teammate, Jeff Gordon, has won the "400" a record four times.
Johnson, of El Cajon, Calif., won $509,236 of a record $9,621,012 race purse. He led eight times for 71 laps, the most of any driver.
Tire-wear issues prompted NASCAR to call six competition cautions. The final competition caution came on Lap 150, with Denny Hamlin leading in the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota. Johnson won the race off pit road with a six-second pit stop, with Edwards close behind.
At the Lap 154 restart, Johnson accelerated away from the field but Edwards gave chase in his No. 99 Aflac Ford and stayed approximately four-tenths of a second behind Johnson until the checkered flag.
"The first three-quarters of the race, it seemed that we could really run any pace that we needed to and pass guys, kind of control the race," Johnson said. "But at the end, I don't know if the No. 11 and No. 99 were just kind of waiting for the right time to get aggressive with their race pace. Those guys really matched our pace and were tough to race with.
"I was behind the No. 11. I thought I could get by him maybe two stops from the end. I blistered the right rear tire, wore it out trying to get by him. Chad (Knaus, No. 48 crew chief) had a great strategy to keep four tires on the car, keep those left sides as fresh as possible. I got up to, I guess, second or third for that last pit stop, we had an awesome pit stop, got us out, off we went.
"Carl put a lot of pressure on me at the end there. I have to commend him, how hard he was driving. I think it was a good race there at the end. Those last seven laps were white-knuckle, to say the least."
Hamlin finished third, Elliott Sadler was fourth in the No. 19 Stanley Dodge and Gordon was fifth in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, his record ninth top-five finish in 15 starts at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.
Edwards' and Hamlin's finishes were their career best at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.
"Second place, I mean, awfully close," Edwards said. "We just did the best we could with it, and at the end I actually believed we were going to be able to drive by Jimmie. All day I'd been racing around him. I thought I was a little better than him, but he was holding back a little more than I thought he was."
There were a total of 11 cautions for a record 52 laps, limiting the race average speed to 115.117 mph, the second-slowest Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in history.
Defending race winner Tony Stewart struggled to his career-worst Allstate 400 at the Brickyard showing, finishing 23rd in the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota. His teammate, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Kyle Busch, finished 15th in the No. 18 M&M's Toyota, his career-worst "400" finish in four starts.