Dover, Del -- Apparently Jimmie Johnson was a little envious of fellow rookie Ryan Newman's victory last weekend. He must have used that as motivation as he drove his ...
Dover, Del -- Apparently Jimmie Johnson was a little envious of fellow rookie Ryan Newman's victory last weekend. He must have used that as motivation as he drove his #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to victory on the one-mile concrete oval to grab his third victory of the year. Johnson also won the spring race at Dover, handing him a sweep on the "Monster Mile."
"Obviously, we've got a great team. Everything from the engine department, bodies, chassis, everything is where it needs to be."
Johnson led 170 circuits and held off a charging Mark Martin within the closing laps as Johnson had to fend off lapped traffic. "I got caught up in some traffic and he could get to me and I could stretch it back out. We were clean sailing from there," a jubilant Johnson explained his tactic on pulling away from Martin's #6 Roush Racing Ford.
With the win, the 27-year-old rookie took over second in the points standings from Sterling Marlin. Johnson now trails Martin by 30 points. Marlin slipped to fourth and Jeff Gordon hoping to make a charge at his fifth title, lost some ground in his chase. On lap 65 he spun and hit the inside retaining wall while attempting to miss the spinning 26 of Todd Bodine. He remained in the garage for repairs for 56 laps.
Gordon and his # 24 team lost some valuable points with their 37th place finish. He sits fifth in points but is now 190 out of the lead.
Another title contender, Rusty Wallace, suffered yet another right front tire failure. Wallace was running third when his right front went down and sent his #2 Ford into the outside wall. Wallace ended the race 15th but was able to hold on to his sixth place points position.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. appeared to have the car to beat early on as he led 116 laps. Earnhardt's #8 machine fought a loose condition the second half of the race. As Johnson dominated, Jr. struggled. He ended the race 24th, four laps down.
Dale Jarrett, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart close out the top five.
Roush stable mates Jeff Burton and Kurt Busch were sixth and seventh while Penske's Ryan Newman, ppi's Ricky Craven and MBV's Johnny Benson round out the top 10.