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Jimmie Runs Away To Fourth Brickyard Victory

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 29 2012

Jimmie Johnson and Rick Hendrick put lips to the bricks after winning Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

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Jimmie Johnson broke away from the field after a restart with 20 laps to go and went on to win the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The victory was Johnson’s fourth at the Brickyard, tying him with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon for the most at the 2.5-mile flat track. It was his third victory of the season.

“Wow, man that victory lap to go around the track is something special,” Johnson said. “A big thank you to all the fans out there cheering it lets it really soak in. To come here and win is a huge honor, then to have four wins I’m at a loss for words. I can tell you this I’m so proud of my team.”

Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing finished second.

Third was Greg Biffle of Roush Fenway Racing.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., a second Hendrick driver, finished fourth and in doing so took over the Sprint Cup points lead.

“All season of long we’ve been working hard and finishing well,” Earnhardt said. “That is symbolic of how well we’ve done. I’m proud of that. I have felt that way about our position in points all season long. We need to win more races. If we want to win the championship, we have to. I imagine we can win a couple races in Chase. I don’t know if finishing fourth or fifth is going to do it. We’ll just have to see. We’d like to step it up just a little bit more.”

Fifth was Gordon and sixth was polesitter Denny Hamlin.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart.

Johnson, who had led 70 of the first 125 laps of the 160-lap race, had the lead as the field headed to the pits under yellow with 35 laps to go.

But Biffle, who was fourth when pitting began, came out with the lead after taking just two tires. Two laps later,

Jimmie Johnson takes the checkered flag for a ride after Sunday's race. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

Johnson, who took four tires, passed Biffle and got the lead back.

“We did two tires there at the end,” Biffle said, “and I thought a lot of people would do two tires, and it turned out most everybody did four. That hurt us a little bit, but still, we ended up third.”

With 27 laps to go, Joey Logano got loose, got sideways and then got into Bobby Labonte and Matt Kenseth. All three cars suffered significant damage. Kenseth, the series points leader, was done for the day.

When the race restarted with 20 laps to go, Johnson had the lead, Biffle was second and Busch was third. When the green dropped, Johnson flew out to a big lead when Biffle and Busch skirmished for second place. By the time Busch won the skirmish, Johnson was out front – and in clean air – by 10 car lengths.

From there it was just a matter of conserving enough fuel to finish – which he did. His margin of victory was 4.7 seconds.

Asked about trying to catch Johnson, Busch said; not possible.

“I didn’t know that you can go around this place that fast,” Busch said. “You talk about guys being in their own zip code,  he (Johnson) was in his own country today.”

RACE RESULTS

1. (6) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 160, $430,461.

Jimmie heads to his fourth Brickyard victory. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

2. (7) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 160, $362,108.

3. (5) Greg Biffle, Ford, 160, $293,525.

4. (20) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 160, $263,750.

5. (9) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 160, $266,961.

6. (1) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160, $250,091.

7. (11) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 160, $230,058.

8. (17) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 160, $212,539.

9. (22) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 160, $214,470.

10. (28) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 160, $230,175.

11. (19) Mark Martin, Toyota, 160, $170,175.

12. (15) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 160, $172,850.

13. (27) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 160, $205,236.

14. (8) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 160, $167,300.

15. (33) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 160, $186,139.

16. (24) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 160, $197,475.

17. (18) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 160, $155,525.

18. (14) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 160, $180,483.

19. (4) Aric Almirola, Ford, 160, $191,411.

20. (23) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 160, $181,208.

21. (12) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 160, $180,966.

22. (16) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 160, $180,908.

23. (32) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 160, $148,725.

24. (26) David Stremme, Toyota, 160, $163,783.

25. (38) Landon Cassill, Toyota, 160, $173,395.

26. (29) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 160, $167,858.

27. (31) David Gilliland, Ford, 160, $156,008.

28. (36) David Ragan, Ford, 160, $152,397.

29. (2) Carl Edwards, Ford, 156, $189,591.

30. (42) Ken Schrader, Ford, 156, $148,825.

31. (37) Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, 154, $148,275.

32. (21) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 151, $180,350.

33. (3) Joey Logano, Toyota, 144, $148,525.

34. (25) Casey Mears, Ford, 137, $137,725.

35. (10) Matt Kenseth, Ford, Accident, 132, $186,011.

36. (13) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, Engine, 126, $145,375.

37. (30) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, Accident, 40, $145,300.

38. (34) Scott Speed, Ford, Brakes, 23, $137,170.

39. (41) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, Transmission, 20, $133,325.

40. (35) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Brakes, 19, $133,245.

41. (40) Scott Riggs, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 14, $133,070.

42. (39) Mike Skinner, Ford, Rear Gear, 11, $132,975.

43. (43) Mike Bliss, Toyota, Engine, 5, $133,356.

RACE STATISTICS

Average Speed of Race Winner: 137.68 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 54 Mins, 19 Secs.

Margin of Victory: 4.758 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 5 for 25 laps.

Lead Changes: 17 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D. Hamlin 1-26; Kyle Busch 27-28; J. Johnson 29-41; D. Hamlin 42; B. Keselowski 43-45; J. Johnson 46-71; J. Gordon 72; M. Kenseth 73; B. Labonte 74; L. Cassill 75; B. Keselowski 76-89; J. Johnson 90-95; B. Keselowski 96-100; J. Johnson 101-125; Kyle Busch 126; L. Cassill 127; G. Biffle 128-131; J. Johnson 132-160.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Johnson 5 times for 99 laps; D. Hamlin 2 times for 27 laps; B. Keselowski 3 times for 22 laps; G. Biffle 1 time for 4 laps; Kyle Busch 2 times for 3 laps; L. Cassill 2 times for 2 laps; M. Kenseth 1 time for 1 lap; J. Gordon 1 time for 1 lap; B. Labonte 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 12 in Points: D. Earnhardt Jr. – 731; M. Kenseth – 717; G. Biffle – 709; J. Johnson – 704; D. Hamlin – 667; K. Harvick – 653; M. Truex Jr. – 653; T. Stewart – 652; B. Keselowski – 649; C. Bowyer – 643; Kyle Busch – 588; C. Edwards – 582.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 29 2012
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