|Johnson & family celebrate in Victory Lane, June 1, 2014|
“It was an awesome car,” Johnson said. “The first run I wasn’t sure we were going to have the normal Dover magic here. Once the track rubbered in, our car came to life and it was so good. It’s amazing that we can stay on top of things here with the different generation car, different rules, different tires.”
Johnson led seven times for a race-high 272 laps. Partway through the event he set the record for leading the most laps at Dover with 2802.
During the final 10 laps or so, Johnson said he was hoping it would stay green.
“Cautions at the end, you kind of expect them, for whatever reason. Truthfully, it’s an opportunity for the guy that’s dominated all day to make a mistake, so I wanted to make sure I chose the right lane and got a good restart and got up through the gears well, and that all worked out for us.”
Runner up Brad Keselowski said he had an up-and-down day, but had a strong run at the end where he went from 13th or 14th up to second.
“Thought we were gonna get a crack at Jimmie and then that last caution came out and we just kind of whiffed on pit road, came out way behind.”
Matt Kenseth finished third, with Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin rounding out the top five.
The day ended badly for Kyle Busch, dashing his hopes of a triple-win sweep at Dover. After taking the lead from polesitter Keselowski on the first lap, Busch led the first 81 laps before hitting the wall after contact from Bowyer, mangling the right front side of his car. For a few tense moments it appeared that Busch would exact retribution, slowing on the track then heading after Bowyer, who took evasive maneuvers. Busch headed for the garage and a disappointing 42nd-place finish.
A multi-car crash on Lap 135 resulted in a brief red flag for track clean-up. AJ Allmendinger tried to scoot below Ricky Stenhouse Jr., but didn't quite make it. Allmendinger slid up in front of Stenhouse, then hit Greg Biffle, ruining the Roush teammates' day. Ryan Truex and Landon Cassill were collateral damage, crashing while trying to avoid the slowing cars in front of them.
Shortly thereafter, the race was red-flagged again for about 22 minutes after Ryan Newman’s car kicked up a chunk of concrete. The piece of track flew backwards, damaging the nose of Jamie McMurray’s car. Workers patched the hole in the track and taped broken glass in the walkover bridge above Turn 2, which had been also hit by the flying debris. Despite the mishap, McMurray got back on track and finished a respectable 13th.
According to Robin Pemberton, the hole in the track surface was pretty substantial.
“It was two or three inches deep, and it was six or eight inches by maybe 10 inches or something like that,” he said.
Dover International Speedway track personnel did an admirable job of fixing the spot quickly, using an epoxy-type substance to fill the hole.
Kyle Larson was the highest finishing rookie in 11th, but a couple of his fellow rookies had some nervous moments. Alex Bowman seemed to have an affinity for the outside wall, making contact three separate times. Justin Allgaier had a close call when his car slid sideways while entering pit road, but he managed to save it.
Matt Kenseth now leads Jeff Gordon by four points in the Sprint Cup standings.
|Fin||Driver||Sponsor / Owner|
|1||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe's / Kobalt Tools|
|2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite|
|3||Matt Kenseth||Dollar General|
|4||Clint Bowyer||Cherry 5-hourEnergy|
|5||Denny Hamlin||Autism Speaks / FedEx Freight|
|6||Martin Truex, Jr.||Furniture Row / Denver Mattress|
|7||Tony Stewart||Code 3 / Mobil 1|
|8||Joey Logano||Shell / Pennzoil|
|9||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||National Guard|
|10||Paul Menard||Pittsburgh Paints / Menards|
|15||Jeff Gordon||Drive to End Hunger / AARP|
|16||Marcos Ambrose||DeWalt / Stanley Tools|
|18||Kurt Busch||Haas Automation|
|19||Kasey Kahne||Farmers Insurance|
|20||Austin Dillon||American Ethanol|
|21||A.J. Allmendinger||Scott Products|
|22||Brett Moffitt||Land Castle Title|
|24||Reed Sorenson||Click It or Ticket|
|26||Justin Allgaier||AccuDoc Solutions|
|27||Cole Whitt||Burger King|
|28||Josh Wise||iRacing.com / Reddit.com|
|29||David Gilliland||The Pete Store|
|32||Ryan Truex||Burger King|
|33||Dave Blaney||Randy Humphrey Racing|
|34||Landon Cassill||Newtown Building Supplies|
|35||Michael Annett||Pilot / Flying J|
|36||David Ragan||Dockside Logistics|
|37||David Stremme||Little Joe's Autos|
|39||J.J. Yeley||Phoenix Warehouse|
|40||Alex Bowman||Dr. Pepper|
|41||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||Nationwide Insurance|
|42||Kyle Busch||M&M's Peanut Butter|
|43||Brian Vickers||Aaron's Dream Machine|