Johnson completes Daytona double

Johnson completes Daytona double

Cup Series

Johnson completes Daytona double

By

Jimmie Johnson became the first man to win both the NASCAR Sprint Cup’s Daytona events in a single season in 31 years as he dominated Saturday night’s round.

Following the Daytona 500 win in February that launched his season, championship leader Johnson had the edge over his rivals for most of the night on the series’ return to the venue. He led 94 of the 161 laps and broke away from the pack in a green-white-checkered finish.

“Had a great horse to ride — got White Lightning in Victory Lane,” Johnson said after climbing from the car. “It’s tough to [dominate] at a plate track. Especially with how tight the rules are. I think I showed strength early, and a lot of guys were willing to work with me and help me through situations. I don’t know if I really made a bad move tonight, so I’m pretty proud of that.”

Johnson was doubly proud to join Allison, Fireball Roberts, Cale Yarborough and LeeRoy Yarbrough as the only drivers to sweep both Sprint Cup races at Daytona in a single season.

“Gosh, growing up in Southern California and watching Bobby Allison, and I remember where I was the day [Bobby’s son] Davey passed away (after a 1993 helicopter crash at Talladega),” Johnson said. “That’s how much the Allison family meant to me. I always thought it was great to watch Bobby and Davey race, and to do anything Bobby has done is pretty special.”

Tony Stewart did his best to find a way around Johnson’s Hendrick Chevrolet over the final lap, but did not have the momentum and had to settle for second. Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. followed them across the line.

There was chaos behind, with two separate multi-car crashes erupting on the final lap, the first when Carl Edwards was spun at Turn 2, the second when Danica Patrick was turned across the pack at Turn 4.

The GWC finish had been prompted when second and third-placed Marcos Ambrose and Kasey Kahne clashed with five laps to go, firing the American into the wall. Prior to that there had been a red flag 10 laps from the finish. Denny Hamlin spun up the track, causing Matt Kenseth to slide into Jeff Gordon in avoidance, and was then collected by AJ Allmendinger. That was Hamlin’s second event of the night following an earlier spin with Martin Truex Jr in which Kyle Busch also got caught up.

Both Hamlin and polesitter Busch rejoined after repairs and fought back into the lead group before further incidents, with Busch hitting the wall hard in the second final-lap crash.

Results - 162 laps:Pos  Driver              Team/Car                    Time/Gap 1.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet 2.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       +0.108s 3.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet          +0.213s 4.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota               +0.296s 5.  Michael Waltrip     Waltrip Toyota               +0.303s 6.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet      +0.360s 7.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  +0.414s 8.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet           +0.469s 9.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford10.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet11.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford12.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota13.  JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet14.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet15.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford16.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet17.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford18.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota19.  Terry Labonte       FAS Lane Ford20.  Trevor Bayne        Wood Brothers Ford21.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford22.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford23.  Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota24.  Landon Cassill      Circle Sport Chevrolet25.  Josh Wise           Front Row Ford26.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford27.  Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota28.  Scott Speed         Leavine Ford29.  David Reutimann     BK Toyota                    +2 laps30.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet            +5 lapsSome time gaps unavailable due to last-lap crashesRetirements:     Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet           155 laps     Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota             154 laps*     Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet           151 laps     AJ Allmendinger     Phoenix Chevrolet            149 laps     Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota             149 laps     David Stremme       Swan Toyota                  127 laps     Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                   127 laps     Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  126 laps*     Joey Logano         Penske Ford                  105 laps*     Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota               97 laps     Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                 33 laps     Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet          23 laps* Running again at chequered flag

More RACER