Jimmie Johnson won the UAW-DaimlerChrylser 400. Lots more pictures in the event Photo Gallery at the end of this page.
Hendrick Drivers Johnson and Gordon Finish One, Two at Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NV (March 11, 2007) - Defending NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is back in the winner's circle.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver drove away from teammate Jeff Gordon down the stretch Sunday to win the exciting UAW-DAIMLERCHRYSLER 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Johnson survived a brush with the wall and battled back to the front in a race that changed direction so many times, a capacity crowd had no idea who would win it until the final laps.
Gordon, at one point, seemed to have the winning car. So did Jeff Burton, knocked from contention with mechanical woes late in the race.
Denny Hamlin finished third after spending most of the day in the middle of the pack. And Mr. Consistency himself, Mark Martin, wound up with a fifth-place finish.
Rounding out the top 10 were Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, who has been off everyone's radar for a while, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 10th.
The race had plenty of fireworks right from the get-go. Rookie David Ragan spun out and hit the wall before the 43-car field completed a lap.
Several laps later, Robby Gordon tried to go three-wide in turn one and hit Ward Burton, who then slammed into Casey Mears.
Living up to pre-race expectations as a potential crash fest, on lap 17, three cars were involved in another accident, sending Dave Blaney to the garage, as well as Joe Nemechek. Clint Bowyer was also involved but continued in the race.
The 1.5-mile track posed particular problems this time around for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams. It was repaved over last winter. Tire wear was an issue during January testing and Goodyear, in the interest of safety, brought a harder tire for the race than previously used.
Many of the teams struggled with a proper setup in qualifying and practice.
Aric Almirola spun as did Kyle Busch, who also spun in Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series race while battling Jeff Burton to the finish line.
At the halfway point, Gordon led, followed by Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, Elliott Sadler, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, J.J. Yeley, Jeff Burton, Sterling Marlin, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart.
3/7: Entry List (PDF)
3/7: Storylines Abound for UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400
3/8: Point Leader Martin Likes Vegas
3/8: Vegas Means Fast Track - Literally - for Stewart
3/8: UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 - By the Numbers
3/9: First Practice Results (PDF)
3/9: Qualifying Order (PDF)
3/9: Qualifying Results (PDF)
3/9: Starting Lineup (PDF)
3/10: Second Practice Results (PDF)
3/10: Final Practice Results (PDF)
3/11: Race Results (PDF)
3/11: Point Standings (PDF)
Event Facts, Post-Race
Event Facts, Pre-Race
- Jimmie Johnson won the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, his 24th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory in 186 races.
- Johnson had the top Las Vegas Motor Speedway Driver Rating (131.4) coming into the race.
- This is Johnson's third consecutive win at Las Vegas. Greg Biffle is the last driver with three straight wins at a particular track (Homestead - 2004-06).
- Johnson's average finish at Las Vegas is now 6.0.
- Johnson's last win was Martinsville on Oct. 22, 2006.
- Johnson's starting position of 23rd is the third lowest starting position by a Las Vegas Motor Speedway race winner. Matt Kenseth holds the record with a 25th place start in 2004.
- This is Hendrick Motorsports' 150th win.
- The last Hendrick Motorsports 1-2 finish was at Dover on Sept. 25, 2005.
- This is the first time in Mark Martin's career that he has started a season with three consecutive top-5 finishes (previous best was 3 of 4 in 2000).
- The 16 lap leaders and 28 lead changes were both record marks for Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The previous most leaders was 13 and the most lead changes was 25. Both marks were set twice.
The Race: UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400
The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, Mar. 12
The Green Flag: 5:30 p.m. (AT), 4:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: FOX, 5 p.m. (AT), 4 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Distance: 400 miles (267 laps)
2006 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
2006 Pole: Greg Biffle
Pre-Race Point Standings: click here
Pre-Race On-Track Schedule (Vegas time): Friday—Practice, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.; Qualifying, 3:10 p.m. Saturday—Practice, 9-9:50 a.m.; Final Practice,10:20-11:20 a.m.
Trackside: Friday, March 9 (SPEED at 6 p.m. AT, 5 p.m. ET)
Qualifying: Friday, March 9 (SPEED at 7 p.m. AT, 6 p.m. ET)
Final Practice: Saturday, March 10 (SPEED at 6:30 p.m. AT, 5:30 p.m. ET)
Pre-Race: Sunday, March 11 (SPEED at 3 p.m. AT, 2 p.m. ET)
Race: Sunday, March 11 (ABC at 5 p.m. AT, 4 ET)
Las Vegas Tidbits
- Kasey Kahne won the Bud Pole for the UAW/DaimlerChrysler 400, his 13th Bud Pole 111 career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races.
- Kahne broke his own track qualifying record of 30.874 seconds, 174.904 mph set on March 7, 2004.
- This is his first Bud Pole and second top-10 start in 2007 – both front-row starts. Kahne started second at California two weeks ago..
- This is Kahne’s second Bud Pole at Las Vegas. He has not started worse than seventh in four races here.
- Jeff Burton (fifth) is the only driver to start from the top-10 in all three races this season.
- Jon Wood and Aric Armirola qualified for their career-first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race.
- Drivers that did not qualify include: AJ Allmendinger, Mike Bliss, John Andretti, Brian Vickers, David Reutimann, Jeremy Mayfield,
Brandon Whitt, Kevin Lepage, Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader.
Photo Gallery - Sunday, March 11
- Jon Wood (No. 21 Air Force Ford) will carry on a family tradition when he makes his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut this
weekend. Wood will follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Glen Wood who once drove the famous No. 21. The elder Wood is
one of 18 drivers on NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers list to pilot the No. 21. Jon’s father Eddie Wood oversees the team’s
marketing and sponsorship and is the team’s spotter during practices.
- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) is seeking
his third consecutive victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Johnson has a history of winning consecutive races at a track. He
has accomplished the feat at Dover International Speedway in 2002 (swept both races), New Hampshire International Speedway in
2003 (sweep), Pocono Raceway in 2004 (sweep) and Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 2004 and 2005 when he won four straight.
- Roush Fenway Racing has a history of dominance at Las Vegas. The team has won five of the track’s nine races (Mark Martin in 1998,
Jeff Burton in 1999 and 2000 and Matt Kenseth in 2003 and 2004). Kenseth lost last year’s race to Johnson by 0.045 second.
- Wax Job ... Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet) and Richard Petty will be immortalized in wax this weekend when Madame Tussauds Las Vegas unveils full-size wax figures of the drivers. The unveiling will take place Friday at 2 p.m. in the Neon Garage, where the figures will stay for the weekend. After the weekend, the figures will move to The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino where they will join figures of Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon.
- Flying High ... Las Vegas native Kyle Busch (No. 5 Kellogg’s/Delphi Chevrolet) will soar the skies above Nevada on Wednesday. Busch will take a special ride in an F-16 fighter jet with the Air Force Thunderbirds out of Nellis Air Force Base.
- For The Kids ... The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities will hold its annual NASCAR Driver Auction at Sam’s Town Live! inside Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m.
- Drivers Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford), Michael Waltrip (No. 55 NAPA Toyota) and Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet) as well as ESPN commentator Rusty Wallace are scheduled to appear at the fundraiser.
- Shop Til You Drop ... Mark Martin will be the featured guest on Friday night’s edition of QVC’s “For Race Fans Only” from 8-10 p.m. ET live from Harrah’s Casino. Martin has made several appearances on the show over the past years, the last one coming from his hometown of Batesville, Ark., last year.
- Gentlemen, Start Your Skillets ... Several rookie drivers will participate in the Second Annual Raybestos Rookie Cooking Challenge at ESPN Zone on Thursday. The drivers will participate in a cooking class with the ESPN Zone culinary team and will then prepare the dishes they learned to cook. Kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas will judge the competition. Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Krisiloff, Brad Coleman, Timothy Peters and Justin Diercks are among those expected to participate.
Pro wrestler Bill Goldberg has one of Greg Biffle's crew members in head lock during pre-race festivities.
Brothers Marcus and Brian Giles of the San Diego Padres pose for a photo with Jimmie Johnson (right).
Dale Earnhardt Jr. looks up to Magic Johnson, literally.
Kasey Kahne led the 43-car field to the green flag.
Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran first and second for many laps.
Mark Martin held his Nextel Cup point lead.
Jimmie Johnson does a burnout to celebrate his win.
Johnson celebrates in Victory Lane.
Photo Gallery - Saturday, March 10
Jon Wood, third generation of NASCAR's legendary Wood family, makes his NASCAR Nextel Cup debut this weekend.
Tony Stewart gets ready to practice.
NHRA racer Ashley Force (John Force's daughter) talks with NASCAR's John Darby Saturday at Vegas. More event pictures in the Photo Gallery at the end of this page.
Photo Gallery - Friday, March 9
NASCAR Nextel Cup point leader Mark Martin takes a break on a hot day at Vegas Friday. Martin remains adamant he will remain
true to his announced plan for a partial schedule this season, missing his first 07 race at Bristol in two weeks.
David Stremme is all smiles after qualifying on the outside pole for Sunday's race.
Budweiser Pole Award winner Kasey Kahne signs autographs.
Budweiser Pole Award winner Kasey Kahne lapped the reconfigured high-banked Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 29.212-seconds,
averaging 184.856 mph around the 1.5-mile oval.
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