Jimmie Johnson continued his dominance at the Monster Mile on Sunday, winning the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks for his tenth career victory at Dover International Speedway.
Johnson was able to hold off Kevin Harvick over the final laps of Sunday’s race to clinch his historic tenth win in 27 career races at Dover, becoming just the fifth driver ever with 10 or more wins at one track. Johnson joins Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and Darrell Waltrip as the only other drivers with ten wins at a single race track.
Johnson led the final 23 laps of Sunday’s race, overtaking Harvick for his first lead of the day on lap 383. Late in the race Kyle Busch and Brian Scott were involved in a wreck which allowed Johnson to take the lead after the restart, and he never looked back.
Due to a caution flag on the final two laps, Johnson’s green-white-checkered-flag finish was just the second such finish at Dover and the first since 2005.
While many drivers chose to pit late and get fresh tires, Johnson and the trailing Harvick continued on, which turned out to be a race-defining decision for the no. 48 car.
“My car was really strong all day,” said Johnson. “I’m just thankful for my engineers and Chad (Knaus); they mentally stayed in the game and got the job done. I was trying to be smart (to keep the lead), and I guess guys on two tires weren’t all that fast, Chad said something to me about that on the radio and they never really came. The no. 4 (Harvick) and I did just fine on old tires.”
Following Harvick in second was Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne, and Aric Almirola, who place in the top five after the likes of Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, and Clint Bowyer were knocked out after collisions late in the race.
The victory was Johnson’s Sprint Cup-leading fourth win of the year putting him in third in the 2015 Sprint Cup Standings. Harvick’s second-place finish was his ninth finish in the top two spots in 13 races this year. Harvick continues to lead the chase trailed by Martin Truex Jr. in second, Johnson in third, Joey Logano in fourth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in fifth.