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Johnson Wins Third Race At The Brickyard
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Jimmie Johnson might not have had the fastest car here Sunday for most of the race. Nonetheless, his car was fastest when it counted the most-- the last 25 laps of the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard.
Johnson ran behind race leader Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Martin until Montoya received a pass-through speeding penalty during a late race pit stop.
That put Montoya back in the pack and another caution a few laps after a restart compounded things for the man who led 118 of the 160-lap distance. Starting from 12th, Montoya improved his position by one spot to finish 11th.
The race was left for Martin, who took the lead shortly after the final restart with 25 laps to go. Johnson, however, had other ideas and zipped past his Hendrick Motorsports teammate a lap later and held Martin off to the end. It made it back to back wins for Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe's team, a first for this race.
NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader and two-time champion Tony Stewart finished third with Greg Biffle fourth. Brian Vickers was fifth in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota and Kevin Harvick was sixth. Kasey Kahne was seventh, David Reutimann was eighth, four-time champion Jeff Gordon finished ninth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 10. Montoya was 11th and rookie Joey Logano was 12th.
The 43-car field didn't complete a lap before Robby Gordon spun in turn four. Elliott Sadler drove onto pit road while his crew searched for a possible oil leak. On the restart at Lap 3, Montoya
put some daylight between himself and the field, signaling he might have the Chevrolet to beat on a beautiful summer day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After all, Montoya certainly knew the way to victory lane at this shrine, having won the Indianapolis 500 in a Chip Ganassi machine the only time he ran it back in 2000.
After a routine round of green flag pit stops between laps 40 and 45, Montoya still led with Martin second. Stewart was third.
Kyle Busch brought out a caution on Lap 58 and slammed into the outside wall. He drove his car into the garage area and parked it even though he had been running in the top 10. The day was looking pretty gloomy for Gibbs Racing with both Busch and Denny Hamlin's Toyotas in the garage with problems before the halfway mark of 80 laps.
The No. 18 crew of Kyle Busch works on his car after an accident on Lap 58. Busch finished 38th and fell four spots in the
standings to 14th. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
On the restart on Lap 63, Montoya took the lead again with Martin in tow. Vickers was next in front of Biffle. Johnson and Stewart followed with Earnhardt behind them. Reutimann was eighth, Kahne nine and Gordon 10th.
On Lap 70, former Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish, Jr. got sideways and banged the Turn 4 wall, ruining his chances for the day.
At halfway, 80 laps (200 miles), it was Montoya, Martin, Vickers, Johnson, Stewart, Biffle, Earnhardt, Reutimann, Kahne and Gordon in the top 10.
Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick were next at the time.
Unofficial Race Results click here
Unofficial Driver Point Standings click here
Race Recap Video click here
Green Flag Fast Facts
The Race: Allstate 400 at The Brickyard
The Date: Sunday, July 26
The Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 2.5-mile oval
The Time: 3 p.m. AT
The Distance: 160 laps/400 miles
TV: ESPN & TSN, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: IMS Radio and Sirius Satellite
2008 Polesitter: Jimmie Johnson
2008 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Schedule: (local track time) Friday—Practice, 2-3 p.m.; 3:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday—Qualifying, 10:10 a.m.; Practice, 2-3 p.m. and 3:30-4:40 p.m.
Year-To-Date Results & Point Standings click here
Practice, Qualifying, Starting Lineup & More...
Mark Martin won the pole for the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard (16th Running) with a lap of 49.436
seconds, 182.054 mph.
Complete Starting Lineup click here
- At 50 years, 197 days, he becomes the oldest pole winner of a major event at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- This is his 45th pole in 742 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
- Martin moves into a tie for 10th with
Buck Baker on the all-time poles list.
- This is his fourth pole and ninth top-10 start in 2009.
- The last time Martin won four poles in a season
- This is his first pole in 16 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- Juan Pablo Montoya (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2009 and his second in three races at
Indianapolis. He also started second in his first race at Indianapolis in 2007. He finished second that
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his first in
20 races this season.
- Drivers that failed to qualify include: Sterling Marlin, Max Papis and Derrike Cope.
*Does not reflect adjustments that may be made prior to the race start because of the cars that need to go
to the rear of the field due to engine and/or transmission changes or practice wrecks...
Mark Martin was fastest in Friday afternoon's final practice session before Saturday's qualifying session for Sunday's Allstate 400...
Friday Afternoon Practice Speed Chart click here
- Indiana-Connected Stewart, Gordon Out Front Heading To Indianapolis...Tony Stewart (No. 14 Old Spice Chevrolet) and Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) both own multiple NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles, multiple wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the top two spots in the current series standings, respectively.
Both drivers also appear primed for another championship run. And as NASCAR Sprint Cup teams prepare for Sunday’s Allstate 400 at The Brickyard, both return to a special place.
An Indiana native, Stewart resides in Columbus and considers Indianapolis his home track. Gordon spent his formative racing years in Indiana.
Aside from personal impacts, another victory in the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard would count not only as a standings boost for either driver, but also toward potential seeding in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
For Gordon, it would mean history.
The four-time series champion leads all NASCAR drivers with four wins at Indianapolis (1994, 1998, 2001, 2004). A fifth win would tie him with Formula 1 great Michael Schumacher for most wins at the historic facility. He’s tied for second with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears – Indianapolis 500 champions, all.
As a kid growing up, I always dreamed about racing at Indy and thought those dreams had gone away when I was moving down south and starting my NASCAR career,” Gordon said. “I love the fact that the Brickyard 400 happens every August or July. And it's just a spectacular event.”
Stewart, a two-time series champion, has two Indianapolis victories (2005 and 2007). A third would mean another personal milestone in his first year of team ownership; even if Stewart-Haas Racing teammate and fellow Hoosier Ryan Newman (No. 39 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet) wins, Stewart would score his first victory as an owner at his favorite track.
Wins are crucial: Sunday’s Allstate 400 at The Brickyard marks the fourth event in the Race to the Chase, the 10-race stretch prior to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Drivers begin the Chase by having their point totals reset at 5,000, then are seeded according to the number of wins they accrued in the season’s first 26 events (10 bonus points for each win).
Stewart has two wins thus far; Gordon has one.
- Indianapolis An Important Stop For Title Contenders...Depending on who pulls into Victory Lane, Sunday’s 16th annual Allstate 400 at The Brickyard could portend the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.
The eventual series champion has won the race seven times in its 15-year history – no crystal balls required. That suggests Indianapolis as a serious signpost en route to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Two drivers have won it twice – Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet). Gordon won at Indianapolis in his title years of 1998 and 2001 while Johnson did so in 2006 and 2008.
Three drivers have done it once – Dale Jarrett in 1999, Bobby Labonte (No. 96 ASK.com Ford) in 2000 and Tony Stewart in 2005.
“I think the momentum is really going to be key just prior to the Chase,” Gordon said during Tuesday’s NASCAR Teleconference, “who can get that momentum and go into the Chase and even start the Chase with that strong momentum and continue it on.
“That, I believe, what's going to separate the team or the top teams that are going to go vie for the championship.”
Johnson said mastering the environment is the first step toward succeeding at Indianapolis.
“The track is a tricky track,” he said. “Clouds blow over, it changes the track dramatically, and speed, and how the car handles. All four corners are different and technical. The true character of that track shows up and the challenge of that track presents to everybody that shows up. And for a lot of years, it’s haunted me.
“But, here, the last couple times, it’s been good to me.”
- Drivers, Officials Expect Tires To Be A Non-Issue...NASCAR and Goodyear officials believe extensive tire tests have resolved wear problems that cropped up in last year’s Allstate 400 at The Brickyard.
Thirty teams logged more than 13,000 miles at the 2.5-mile track during seven tests since last summer’s event. The final session concluded a month ago, on Tuesday, June 16.
“I'm very confident in the tires,” said Jeff Gordon, a four-time winner at Indianapolis, during Tuesday’s NASCAR Teleconference. “I did the last test there and was very pleased.”
Attention to detail and unique outside resources aided both Goodyear’s and teams’ efforts, said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton.
“The last two tests, Goodyear really honed in on different constructions, different tire compounds and things that would add life to the tire but also add a lot of grip,” Pemberton said. “It’s tough to get both and I think they’ve done a great job in doing just that. It’s amazing to see what’s been accomplished in the last 10 months or so.
“There will be a lot of good information that comes out of these tests that we will be able to take to other race tracks, such as different compounds and constructions. Things that will help the grip and help make the racing better all the way around.”
“I think there was a lot to it because it seemed like a pretty tough process,” said Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge), who finished seventh in last year’s Allstate 400 at The Brickyard. “I must have tested six or seven times there since last year’s race. The teams have put a ton of time testing up there and I feel like the tire is as good as anything that I’ve been on up there.
“So, it’s gonna be an awesome race.”
Two-time Indianapolis winner Tony Stewart is similarly confident.
“I think they’ve come back with a combination that not only is durable, but also made it where it should be better racing at that time, too,” Stewart said.
His view was enhanced by a trip to Goodyear’s Akron, Ohio headquarters, where he learned about the race tire assembly process.
“It’s a process that makes you shake your head because you just don’t realize what goes into making a tire,” Stewart said. “And the good thing is it’s not done by a machine, it’s done by a physical person that actually puts that tire together.
“There’s a lot of machines that assist in that process, but some of the key components are still done by a Goodyear engineer that sits there and makes sure it’s as perfect as it can be.”
- Race To the Chase Update...Sunday’s Allstate 400 at The Brickyard is the fourth event in the Race to the Chase, the 10-race stretch that ends with the cutoff for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – race No.26 of the season, Sept. 12 at Richmond International Raceway.
Following that event, the top 12 drivers will compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title during the season’s final 10 races.
This Sunday at Indianapolis represents a call to action for some drivers.
Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, one-two, respectively, in the standings, need wins to improve their Chase seeding.
If the Chase began now, Mark Martin, currently 11th, would be the top seed thanks to his series-high four wins. (Quick recap: Chase drivers’ point totals are reset to 5,000 with 10 points added for each win during the season’s first 26 events).
Martin would be followed by three-time 2009 winner Kyle Busch (No. 18 Snickers Toyota), currently 10th in the standings.
Stewart, a two-time winner in ‘09, would be third, followed by Jimmie Johnson in fourth and Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford) in fifth, both also two-time winners in ‘09. Johnson is third in the current standings; Kenseth is 12th.
Gordon, with one ‘09 win, would be sixth.
Sliding down, 13th-place Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M/Pistonz Ear Plugs Ford), trails Kenseth, his Roush Fenway Racing teammate, by 10 points.
Fourteenth-place David Reutimann (No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota) trails Biffle by 66 points and 12th place by 76.
Further back, 15th-place Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet) trails 12th place by 126 points.
- Kasey Kahne, the 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will make his 200th career start in Sunday’s Allstate 400 at The Brickyard.
“It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was racing sprint cars in Washington (state),” Kahne said. “I feel pretty fortunate to be able to do what I do for a living. I’ve celebrated a lot of great moments in racing and I hope to celebrate more.”
- Three-time and reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will make his 275th start Sunday.
- This race weekend is action-packed for four NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers – Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, David Reutiman and Kyle Busch.
All four will participate in Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at O’Reilly Raceway Park, a .686-mile track just a short drive from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- In addition to his weekend double-header, Matt Kenseth will attempt something only two NASCAR Sprint Cup peers have accomplished – winning two of the sport’s crown jewels, the Daytona 500 and the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard – in the same season.
Kenseth, the reigning Daytona 500 champion, has four top fives and five top 10s in nine career starts at Indianapolis. He’s finished second twice (2003 and ‘06).
Dale Jarrett (1996) and Jimmie Johnson (2006) are the other drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard in the same season.
- Indianapolis 500 Connection...Two NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers seek a sweep of another type this weekend at Indianapolis.
The pair of Indianapolis 500 champions, Juan Pablo Montoya and Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge), doubtless would like to add an Allstate 400 at The Brickyard title to their resumes.
Montoya, who won the 2000 Indianapolis 500, started and finished second in the 2007 Allstate 400 at The Brickyard. He finished 39th last year. Hornish, the 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion, finished 21st last year in his only Allstate 400 at The Brickyard appearance.
Montoya also seeks to improve his Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup status. He’s currently ninth in the standings (the top 12 drivers qualify after race No. 26 ) and hopes to participate in his first Chase this fall.
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