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Johnson Is Anything But Pokey At Pocono

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 9 2013

Jimmie Johnson takes the checkered flag at Pocono. (RacinToday/HHP Rusty Jarrett)

RacinToday.com

Jimmie Johnson was the easy winner Sunday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Party in the Poconos 400. He lead 128 of the event’s 160 laps won for the third time in 2013.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver continued to build on his series points lead,  increasing his advantage over second-place Carl Edwards (18th Sunday) to 51 points after 14 races.

Sunday’s victory was by 1.2 seconds but likely would have been greater had wrecks not force a series of late-race cautions.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran third, followed by Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman. Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano completed the top 10.

“Not only a great race car but an engine,” Johnson said. “We had fuel mileage and plenty of power. It was awesome on the straightaways today to be able to do what I wanted around other cars.”

The win came a week after Johnson nearly won at Dover. That apparent victory vanished because of a penalty as NASCAR officials said he jumped a late-race restart.

Asked if the Pocono victory made up for Dover, Johnson said, “No, but it’s OK. It doesn’t make up for much, but we know we’re a great race team. Things won’t keep us down. We had a great race car today and had a lot of fun. That was a lot of fun out there.”

Biffle was happy with a runner-up finish that jumped him three positions to 10th in the standings.

“Jimmie was in a league of his own,” said Biffle, who took the green flag from the fourth position on the final restart with four laps left and surged past Earnhardt and Kyle Busch in the first corner. “I was going to have to get up beside him, take the air off him–something to try and gain an advantage.

“But I gave him such a good push on the restart I couldn’t catch back up with him… I couldn’t get him.”

Though Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch and Hamlin finished sixth and eighth, respectively, Hamlin said he could feel a reduction in horsepower in his TRD (Toyota Racing Development) engine, after the engines were detuned in favor of reliability in reaction to several recent valve train failures.

“Any horsepower change is going to be a difficult thing to overcome, especially this week and next week (at Michigan), our two horsepower race tracks,” Hamlin said. “I wouldn’t be opposed to say that other guys probably stepped up coming to this race track, and we took a step back.

“It’s kind of a double whammy, but it’s something TRD’s going to work through.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Party in the Poconos 400

Sunday, June 09, 2013

1. (1) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 160, $244436.

2. (13) Greg Biffle, Ford, 160, $173985.

3. (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 160, $143060.

4. (19) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 160, $165810.

5. (23) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 160, $144343.

6. (8) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 160, $141318.

7. (20) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 160, $119430.

8. (17) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160, $105085.

9. (5) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 160, $130571.

10. (21) Joey Logano, Ford, 160, $120293.

11. (24) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 160, $94610.

12. (11) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 160, $127096.

13. (22) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 160, $109380.

14. (25) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 160, $108924.

15. (3) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 160, $120343.

16. (10) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 160, $129876.

17. (26) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 160, $107199.

18. (2) Carl Edwards, Ford, 160, $114260.

19. (14) Mark Martin, Toyota, 160, $87235.

20. (39) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 160, $106268.

21. (12) Aric Almirola, Ford, 160, $115496.

22. (27) Casey Mears, Ford, 160, $102368.

23. (15) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 160, $114935.

24. (31) David Gilliland, Ford, 160, $91793.

25. (4) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 160, $112851.

26. (16) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #, Ford, 160, $123796.

27. (29) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 160, $96543.

28. (33) David Stremme, Toyota, 160, $86182.

29. (30) Danica Patrick #, Chevrolet, 160, $76485.

30. (9) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 160, $105826.

31. (32) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 160, $74685.

32. (34) David Reutimann, Toyota, 159, $73010.

33. (18) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 158, $80810.

34. (36) Josh Wise(i), Ford, 157, $72610.

35. (38) Timmy Hill #, Ford, 156, $72460.

36. (7) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 141, $90210.

37. (28) David Ragan, Ford, 121, $80028.

38. (37) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, Clutch, 70, $67050.

39. (35) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, Transmission, 39, $63050.

40. (41) Michael McDowell, Ford, Vibration, 33, $59050.

41. (43) Scott Riggs, Ford, Vibration, 28, $55050.

42. (40) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, Engine, 11, $51050.

43. (42) Jason Leffler, Toyota, Transmission, 8, $47550.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 144.202 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 46 Mins, 26 Secs. Margin of Victory: 1.208 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 6 for 19 laps.

Lead Changes: 12 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J. Johnson 0; C. Edwards 1-9; J. Johnson 10-27; B. Keselowski 28-29; J. Johnson 30-57; B. Keselowski 58-59; J. Johnson 60-67; R. Newman 68-70; J. Johnson 71-100; R. Newman 101-113; J. Johnson 114-126; R. Newman 127-129; J. Johnson 130-160.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Johnson 6 times for 128 laps; R. Newman 3 times for 19 laps; C. Edwards 1 time for 9 laps; B. Keselowski 2 times for 4 laps.

Top 12 in Points: J. Johnson – 521; C. Edwards – 470; C. Bowyer – 452; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 439; K. Harvick – 434; M. Kenseth – 418; Kyle Busch – 412; K. Kahne – 400; Brad Keselowski – 398; G. Biffle – 395; J. Gordon – 393; P. Menard – 385.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 9 2013
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