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He’s back…Johnson powers into Chase contention

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 ‘Monster Mile’ 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.

Topics: Articles |

4 Responses to “He’s back…Johnson powers into Chase contention”

  1. Charles Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Not suprised at all!!!!!
    I have been thinking this would happen all along!

    Just let Nascar keep letting Chevy dominate and this is what is going to happen!

  2. Mark Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Good job 48 team!!!! now just send Jr to the ARCA series where he belongs!!! and stop giving Mr. Hendrick a bad name!!!!!!!

  3. Marybeth Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Rich, I just read this over on Frontstretch, by Matt McLaughlin.
    “Clint Bowyer probably sent Mark Martin dinner after Martin’s car was disqualified after qualifying for Dover. At least it deflected some negative attention away from the RCR team. Martin’s car was found to have rear shocks with illegally high internal pressures. So, what’s going on? Apparently, the trick to making the car of sorrow handle better is to get the back of the car up further in the air so the rear spoiler is in clean air. To do this during the race some teams, most notably the Hendrick cars that have been dominant over the last few years, are using trick rear shocks. When cold, as in pre-race inspections, the car sits at a legal height. As the shocks heat up during an event the gas within them expands, raising the rear ride height. The car might not pass the height stick test immediately after the race, but given a half-hour to cool off at rest the gas contracts and the car returns to legal height. Apparently, some other teams figured out what HMS was doing and have tried to mimic it. Now, some are getting caught. It’s the same deal as back in the ’90s when first Harry Gant, then Bill Elliott’s Junior Johnson-equipped team figured out the advantage of camber on the rear wheels. Once the secret was out, NASCAR banned it.”
    Someone commented the following, “Isn’t it logical to think that the shocks on Mark’s car are on Johnson’s? I guess we’ll never know for sure. I guess they’ll let Johnson’s car settle before they measure it.”
    Last week someone posted that, , “No sane person ever believes any Hendrick car is legal.” To which I replied, “Junior’s is. :)”

  4. Mark Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Marybeth, the problem with Jr”s car isnt Hendrick!!! it’s Jr!!!! He reallt needs to go to ARCA! AND now!!!