TALLADEGA, AL - Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, extended his lead in the Chase to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship to 72 points with a hard-fought ninth place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson led the AMP Energy 500 twice for...
TALLADEGA, AL - Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, extended his lead in the Chase to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship to 72 points with a hard-fought ninth place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson led the AMP Energy 500 twice for a total of three laps.
Johnson was moved to the last starting position in the field after the team examined the engine prior to final technical inspection, considered an infraction of the impound rules governing today's race. His day was further complicated when he went a lap down to the leaders early in the race after losing the draft.
Johnson and his Chad Knaus-led team employed numerous pit strategies to move the two-time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion up in the field throughout the 188-lap race, extended to 190 with a green-white-checkered finish after a caution on the 186th lap.
Paul Menard, No. 15 Menards/Johns Manville Impala SS, scored a career-high second-place finish. Starting fifth, Menard ran consistently in the lead pack of cars throughout the day. He led twice for a total of sixth laps.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Impala SS, finished fourth and advanced to just 99 points behind the leader at the conclusion of the fourth race of the Chase. Burton led three times during the race for a total of eight laps.
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS, was the fifth place finisher in today's race. Bowyer jumped two positions in the standings, now sitting fifth, 152 points out of the lead.
Scott Riggs, No. 66 Hunt Brothers Pizza Impala SS, finished seventh to give Team Chevy five of the top-10 finishers in today's race.
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS, finished 20th to keep his race-finish streak alive. Harvick, who led three times for a total of 22 laps, was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 174. Despite receiving heavy damage, the crew was able to get Harvick back on track for the final laps. He sits sixth in the Chase standings.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, endured a very difficult day in the AMP Energy 500. After leading once for three laps and battling in the lead pack from the start, the four-time NSCS champion was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 55 of the race.
The crew worked to make repairs to return Gordon to the track in order to gather as many points as possible, but Gordon retired from the race on lap 140 when the engine expired relegating him to 38th place finish. He is eighth in the standings.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Impala SS, looked to have one of the strongest cars in the field until the multi-car accident on lap 175 sent him to the garage. After leading eight times for 19 laps, his day ended with as the 28th finisher in the 43-car field. Junior sits 10th in the standings with six races remaining in the season.
Tony Stewart was the race winner. David Ragan finished third to complete the top-five.
The next event is the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 11, 2008.