By admin | September 26, 2010
By Richard Allen
As if anyone truly believed that Jimmie Johnson was out of contention for a fifth consecutive Sprint Cup championship after his poor finish in New Hampshire, he let it be known this past weekend that he will definitely be a factor again in 2010.
In what could only be labeled as a dominating performance in Dover, Johnson made the strongest possible showing in the AAA 400 by qualifying on the pole, leading the most laps and winning the race. And in doing so, the Hendrick Motorsports driver scored the most possible points which placed him in the second spot behind only Denny Hamlin in the standings.
“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders that we were able to come here and win a race in the Chase, rebound from last week,” Johnson admitted in victory lane after the race.
Johnson showed that it had not gone unnoticed that some competitors, media members and fans have stated their belief in the possibility of his team showing signs of weakness throughout the season.
“This is a great day for us, because it shows us what we are capable of and the fact that we can win races and be competitive in this Chase,” Johnson said. “This summer was hard on us — there’s no way around that. We had bad races and finished bad. We had good races and finished bad. So it’s nice to do things start-to-finish all weekend long on the right foot.”
After last week in New Hampshire where a late race incident and pit road error had relegated Johnson to a 25th place result, he had dropped him to 6th in the overall standings. Now, he has pulled all the way up to second in the standings, only 35 points behind Hamlin.
The win was the sixth of the season for Johnson and the sixth of his career on the â€˜Monster Mileâ€™ track at Dover.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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