JOHNSON MAKES HISTORY WITH SECOND CONSECUTIVE BRICKYARD WIN INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, July 26, 2009 -- Jimmie Johnson and the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet team cemented their place in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway history book July...
JOHNSON MAKES HISTORY WITH SECOND CONSECUTIVE BRICKYARD WIN
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, July 26, 2009 -- Jimmie Johnson and the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet team cemented their place in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway history book July 26 by becoming the first team to win the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard twice in a row.
On a day where it appeared Juan Pablo Montoya was going to cast his own spot in IMS history by becoming the first driver to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the "400," Johnson used a Turn 2 outside pass of Mark Martin on the Lap 137 restart to take the lead and stay there, beating Martin, driver of the No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet and pole winner for the race, by .400 of a second at the finish.
Not only did Johnson's win make him the race's first repeat winner, but he also has a three Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victories, one shy of event record holder and teammate Jeff Gordon, who finished ninth. Johnson's first win on the daunting 2.5-mile IMS oval was in 2006.
Martin did not make it easy for Johnson at the end. He pulled from more than .7 of a second behind Johnson on Lap 154 to almost Johnson's bumper as they took the white flag on Lap 160.
"I hope the fans enjoyed that race," said Johnson. "I can't say enough about this race team and all of Hendrick Motorsports and that battle with my teammate Mark Martin. Damn, he was fast. For an old guy. Those last 15 to 20 laps, man, we had to drive it so hard to stay ahead of the 5. I was better in (Turns) 3 and 4, and he was better in 1 and 2. It was kind of a give-and-take thing going on."
The only time Johnson led was for the final 24 laps, and his average speed was 145.882 mph. He won $448,001 of a $9,598,268 race purse. There were a total of three cautions for 14 laps.
Two-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Tony Stewart finished third in the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet, while Greg Biffle was fourth in the No. 16 3M/Pistonz Earplugs Ford. Brian Vickers was fifth in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota.
Montoya had a heartbreaking day, setting the pace for much of the race in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet. He took the lead from Martin on Lap 5 and lost the lead only twice during pit cycles until Lap 124, when he was penalized by NASCAR with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits. He dropped to 12th for the ensuing restart, fell to 15th a lap later and finished 11th.
Montoya's dominance was similar to his 2000 Indianapolis 500 win, when he led 167 of that race's 200 laps. At the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Montoya led three times for a race-high 116 laps, including a race record-setting 59 consecutive laps from Lap 34-92.
"Actually, it reminded me of the last time I led here," Montoya said. "It was kind of easy, to be honest. I was cruising. I was super fast." Only the result was vastly different.
"It kind of sucks, but it is what it is," Montoya said of the speeding penalty. "I thought I wasn't speeding. I was on the lights every time. We haven't had to deal with that before. Once it happens, you can't change it. It's pretty frustrating." ***
2009 IMS tickets: Established in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has long prevailed as an icon of motorsports excellence. Beginning in 2009, the Speedway celebrates its Centennial Era, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the facility in 2009 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2011.
Tickets for the final event of 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway --the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 28-30-- can be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.