May 25, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT
Jimmie Johnson fans can relax:
As a result and with his 67th career Sprint Cup win, Johnson is now on-track to make this year’s new and revised format for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, of which he’s the defending and six-time champion.
What a relief to end what had been tied for your worst winless start to a season, right, Jimmie?
“Absolutely, it’s great to win,” Johnson told Fox Sports in victory lane. “But I promise you, all the hype and concern and worry was elsewhere, it wasn’t in my head. There are plenty of voices in my head, I’m not going to lie.
“We’ve had a great race team, we’ve had opportunity in front of us and had stuff taken away from us, and we’ve had some bad races, I have to be honest about that, too.”
Johnson, who led 10 different times in Sunday’s race, moves up to third on the Chase-eligible standings and hopes Sunday is the first of many more wins to come.
“It was just a long race, so many things going on,” said Johnson, who snapped an overall 13-race winless streak that dated back to the latter part of last season. “Hopefully this 48 is heading that way and we get those other people thinking about us.”
Johnson, who started from the pole position, led a race-high 165 laps and ultimately won by 1.2 seconds over Harvick.
It was Johnson’s seventh career win at CMS, a new record for most wins by a driver at the 1.5-mile track.
Runner-up Harvick, who had won two of the last three 600s, led 100 laps — only to fall short.
Harvick called out his pit crew for falling short.
“We had a loose wheel and we got behind and it took us the rest of the night to get back up front,” Harvick told Fox Sports. “We’re just shooting ourselves in the foot on pit road and we have to get that cleaned up because we obviously can’t win races even with the fastest car if we make mistakes continuously on pit road. It’s frustrating.”
Kenseth, who led 33 laps, said he just wasn’t able to hold off Johnson from passing him late in the race and motor on to the checkered flag and victory lane.
“I thought we had a top-five car,” Kenseth said. “We had great strategy and great stops. They (his crew) had me in front of (Johnson) but just couldn’t hold them off. We just need to get a little better. … You’re disappointed when you don’t hold them off and don’t come home with a victory, but we were just too tight to hold them off.”
Johnson led after 100 miles, Harvick led after 200 and 300 miles, McMurray led after 400 miles and Keselowski led after 500 miles.
The Sprint Cup points standings saw marginal change in the top-10.
Gordon remains in first place, Kenseth is still in second (11 points behind Gordon), Kyle Busch remains in third and is now tied with Edwards (both -24), Dale Earnhardt Jr. fell to fifth place (-38), Johnson climbs one spot to sixth (-44), Joey Logano fell to seventh (-54), Brian Vickers (-67) moved up two places to eighth, Brad Keselowski moved up two places into a tie for ninth with Ryan Newman (both -71).
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Kurt Busch’s bid to become only the second driver to ever complete the “Double” – complete all 1,100 miles between the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 – came up short when his Stewart Haas Racing’s Chevrolet suffered motor failure on Lap 274, 126 laps from the finish.
Busch completed 906 miles of racing before the motor let go on the Charlotte Motor Speedway backstretch. Busch ultimately finished 40th on the 43-driver grid.
“The motor blew,” Busch told Fox Sports’ Jeff Hammond. “It acted like it swallowed three cylinders all at once, so it was real slow. It’s kind of a shame. It almost symbolizes how tough it’s been on the Haas Automation team. We gave it our all and were clawing our way back up.
“To feel the stock car right after driving an Indy car was a day I’ll never forget. And I can’t let the mood here with the car dampen with what happened up in Indy today. It was very special.”
Busch’s team co-owner, Tony Stewart, remains the only driver to complete both ends of the so-called “Double,” doing so in 2001.
“The Stewart-Haas guys gave me a good car tonight and the motor just went. Sometimes, that just happens.”
While upset at falling short of achieving his goal, Busch took the motor failure in stride.
“All-in-all, I’m satisfied,” he said. “I gave it my all.”
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Busch’s SHR teammate Danica Patrick wasn’t satisfied in her day, finishing 39th.
First, after quick repairs by her team allowed her to come back after being rammed in the back of her Chevy during Marcos Ambrose’s spin on Lap 235, Patrick’s day also ended early.
Patrick’s car was already operating with at least one cylinder down during much of the race. Prior to that happening, she had been challenging pole-sitter Jimmie Johnson for the lead early on.
But then came Lap 286, 12 laps after Busch’s motor blew up, and Patrick’s motor followed suit.
“Sorry guys, it’s definitely not what we had wanted, but we did some good things this weekend,” Patrick told her crew over the team radio.
Patrick was hoping for a second strong finish, having wound up with a career-best seventh-place finish two weeks ago at Kansas.
She had been optimistic coming into Sunday’s race after qualifying fourth and ranking in the top 10 in both final practice sessions on Saturday.
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The first big wreck of Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 occurred on Lap 235 of the 400-lap event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Marcos Ambrose’s Ford spun. Patrick was close to avoiding the incident until Brian Scott couldn’t slow down in time, making contact with Patrick’s car and sending her into the wall, suffering moderate damage on her Chevrolet.
“Idiot,” Patrick said over her team radio. “I mean, really, who the hell did not see that coming?”
Earlier in the race on Lap 160, David Gilliland‘s day came to an abrupt end when he apparently cut down a tire and slammed into the wall.
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Also of note, Jeff Gordon came into the race still suffering from back spasms that caused him to cut short his first practice run and completely miss the entire second practice session Saturday.
Even though Regan Smith was on standby to replace him if needed, Gordon managed to stay in the event for its entirety, finishing seventh.
“It was better than Saturday morning, that’s what I was thankful for,” Gordon said of how his back felt. “There were procedures and different work … there was quite a few people that were tending to me, and I appreciate every one of them and I don’t think I would have gotten through this long race (without their efforts).
“It was a good effort, I’m happy I got through it. It tells me what kind of threshold I have and I just wanted to show this team the kind of commitment I have to them because of what they’ve shown me this year.”
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Coca-Cola 600
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Concord, North Carolina
Sunday, May 25, 2014
1. (1) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 400, $465626.
2. (11) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 400, $304313.
3. (12) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 400, $249941.
4. (22) Carl Edwards, Ford, 400, $174980.
5. (26) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 400, $186219.
6. (16) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 400, $166870.
7. (27) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 400, $169906.
8. (21) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 400, $150834.
9. (7) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 400, $164761.
10. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 400, $166653.
11. (13) Aric Almirola, Ford, 400, $154546.
12. (8) Joey Logano, Ford, 400, $151501.
13. (18) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 400, $148468.
14. (3) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 399, $131660.
15. (42) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 399, $121260.
16. (32) Austin Dillon #, Chevrolet, 399, $156696.
17. (5) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 399, $146026.
18. (25) Kyle Larson #, Chevrolet, 398, $134680.
19. (10) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 398, $115460.
20. (14) Trevor Bayne(i), Ford, 398, $103435.
21. (24) Greg Biffle, Ford, 398, $146385.
22. (6) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 398, $112985.
23. (20) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 398, $121518.
24. (34) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 398, $126643.
25. (15) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 398, $129593.
26. (23) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 397, $137310.
27. (31) Cole Whitt #, Toyota, 397, $96960.
28. (39) Michael Annett #, Chevrolet, 396, $113893.
29. (9) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 396, $126255.
30. (30) Michael McDowell, Ford, 396, $97685.
31. (35) David Ragan, Ford, 395, $118793.
32. (19) Brian Scott(i), Chevrolet, 395, $108457.
33. (29) Alex Bowman #, Toyota, 392, $98760.
34. (38) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 390, $106135.
35. (43) Blake Koch(i), Ford, 390, $95485.
36. (40) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 382, $95385.
37. (17) Justin Allgaier #, Chevrolet, 378, $103154.
38. (36) Ryan Truex #, Toyota, Engine, 303, $89350.
39. (4) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, Engine, 281, $95850.
40. (28) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, Engine, 271, $81350.
41. (37) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Accident, 229, $77350.
42. (41) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, Engine, 162, $73350.
43. (33) David Gilliland, Ford, Accident, 160, $77850.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 145.484 mph.
Time of Race: 4 Hrs, 07 Mins, 27 Secs. Margin of Victory: 1.272 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 8 for 44 laps.
Lead Changes: 34 among 9 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Johnson 0; B. Keselowski 1; J. Johnson 2-47; B. Keselowski 48-49; J. Johnson 50-75; K. Harvick 76-95; J. Johnson 96-97; K. Harvick 98-108; J. Johnson 109; K. Harvick 110-149; J. Johnson 150-164; B. Keselowski 165-191; K. Harvick 192-212; J. Gordon 213; D. Earnhardt Jr. 214; J. McMurray 215; K. Harvick 216-223; J. Johnson 224; D. Earnhardt Jr. 225-236; J. McMurray 237-240; M. Kenseth 241; J. McMurray 242-270; M. Kenseth 271-276; J. Gordon 277; J. Johnson 278-293; M. Kenseth 294-311; J. Johnson 312-330; B. Keselowski 331-343; A. Almirola 344; J. Johnson 345-373; J. Gordon 374-375; C. Edwards 376-379; J. Gordon 380-383; M. Kenseth 384-391; J. Johnson 392-400.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Johnson 10 times for 164 laps; K. Harvick 5 times for 100 laps; B. Keselowski 4 times for 43 laps; J. McMurray 3 times for 34 laps; M. Kenseth 4 times for 33 laps; D. Earnhardt Jr. 2 times for 13 laps; J. Gordon 4 times for 8 laps; C. Edwards 1 time for 4 laps; A. Almirola 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 16 in Points: J. Gordon – 432; M. Kenseth – 421; Kyle Busch – 408; C. Edwards – 408; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 394; J. Johnson – 388; J. Logano – 378; B. Vickers – 365; B. Keselowski – 361; R. Newman – 361; G. Biffle – 351; K. Harvick – 345; K. Larson # – 344; D. Hamlin – 340; A. Dillon # – 334; P. Menard – 328.
Sep 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
They’ve already got the IndyCar title. But can Team Penske claim the Sprint Cup as well this season?
Sep 22, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT
It hasn’t always been easy for Logano since he broke into the Sprint Cup Series in 2009. But there’s no disputing that the kid once known as “Sliced Bread” (as in, greatest thing since) has grown up.
Sep 22, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT
Two teams on the opposite ends of the Chase spectrum head for the Lone Star State.
Sep 22, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
A wild doubleheader in Los Angeles has left Block with an 18-point edge over Wiman as the series heads for Seattle.
Sep 22, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
Coming up today: Highlights and analysis from Joey Logano’s Chase win at Loudon; an interview with Penske president Tim Cindric; Kevin Harvick’s Chase progress; Denny Hamlin’s nightmarish day; 16-year-old Cole Custer’s historic Truck win.
Sep 22, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT
The former CART and F1 driver’s incredible story is spotlighted in a special clip that previews a new film regarding BMW’s legacy in touring car racing.
Sep 22, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
Wally Dallenbach Jr. to make competitive return to driving in Trans-Am, starting next month.
Sep 22, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
Eric Boullier indicates that he feels Red Bull breached the FIA’s new radio ban with its messages to Daniel Ricciardo during Sunday’s race.
Sep 22, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT
Mark Webber enjoys his return to Austin in FIA WEC, even if the result in his No. 20 Porsche goes begging.
Sep 22, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
The clash of the titans has gone Team Penske’s way so far. But next weekend’s race at Dover could see the tide turn in favor of Hendrick Motorsports.
Sep 22, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Andre Lotterer reflects on the openness of FIA WEC and Super Formula compared to his one-off Grand Prix appearance in Belgium.
Sep 22, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
The FIA WEC headed to Texas this weekend. Here are some thoughts on how it went down.
Sep 22, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT
Both the TUDOR Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge put on a show in Austin this weekend.
Sep 22, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT
Audi 1-2 leads FIA WEC winners at COTA.
Sep 22, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
Reliability woes have left Nico Rosberg reeling. If he doesn’t respond at Suzuka, it could be game over.
Sep 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
German driver does well to keep his anger in check in his post-race video blog.
Sep 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Vijay Mallya delighted as Force India makes 2014 its most successful season since entering F1 back in 2008.
Sep 22, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT
Lewis Hamilton has put himself back in control of the 2014 F1 world championship after a great win in Singapore as teammate Nico Rosberg retired.
Sep 21, 2014, 8:43 PM EDT
Millen scores his second win of 2014, while YouTube icon Block takes an 18-point lead in the championship with two races left in the season.
Sep 21, 2014, 7:51 PM EDT
Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Courtney Force (Funny Car), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the winners in Sunday’s final rounds of the NHRA FallNationals in Ennis, Texas.
Video from NASCAR America
- NASCAR AMERICA: Team Penske pushing for incredible season (VIDEO) 0
- Lotterer: “F1 (racing) isn’t what it used to be anymore” 0
- Joey Logano avoids “yellow fever,” wins at N.H. to advance in Chase 3
- Wreck involves several Chase drivers; Keselowski spins, suffers minor damage 1
- Rosberg reflects on a tough day in Singapore (VIDEO) 2
- Reports: 2015 Sprint Cup rules package expected to be released on Tuesday 2
- Hamilton rules in Singapore to re-take championship lead as Rosberg retires 1