Jimmie Johnson dominated the field leading 289 laps including the final 76 to claim victory in the FedEx 400 at Dover Downs. In a race marred by the season’s biggest pileup (13 cars on lap 9), Johnson looked in control for most of the way en route to his 57th career win and 7th at the Monster Mile.
The win vaults Jimmie Johnson up to 5th in the points standing. He attributed a big part of his success on the afternoon to the performance of his team in the pits.
“I think the way we protected the win was pit road. Last week was hard on us, this week those guys did it every time I was on pit road. "
In victory lane, Johnson and his entire team wore multi-colored “afro-circus” wigs, as he called them, to promote the movie, “Madagascar 3.”
Jeff Gordon arguably had the strongest car of the day, but problems with his left rear tire led to a disappointing 13th place finish.
“We had the best race car,” Gordon lamented when asked for positives to take from the day. “We’ve just been talking about this too many times this year, we can’t afford to make mistakes. We can’t afford to get behind, especially guys like the 48. We had the best car I’ve had here in a long time. We had the car to win the race and it’s just very unfortunate that we put ourselves and paid the price.”
“I’m just tired of these same old things. One thing or another getting us when we’ve got the best care out there. So we’ll just go to Pocono.”
Kevin Harvick came in 2nd, his best ever finish at Dover.
“This has never been a really strong track for us and I feel like this is the best race we’ve ever run here.” Harvick said. “So for us to come here and do that and be able to be solid all day is what we needed.”
It was Kevin Harvick’s first top 5 finish since March.
The full top 10 were as follows:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Aric Almirola
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Joey Logano
9. Kasey Kahne
10. Marco Ambrose
The Sprint Cup Series will remain in the area next week as they make the short trip to Pennsylvania for the Pocono 400.