NSCS: Johnson Excels Monster Mash Dance at Dover

Jimmie Johnson defeated the monster at the Dover International Speedway on Sunday to capture his 74th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. Johnson took the lead with 23 laps remaining after staying out while the leaders came down pit road. He, along with Harvick who also had chosen to stay out, was able to maintain the lead for the next 13 laps until a caution came out with two laps remaining. The two drivers were able to maintain the top two spots during the green-white-checker finish.

Several things became key for Johnson throughout the 400-mile race, including the in-car adjustable track bar. “Gosh, just driving hard and working that track bar adjuster as much as I could,” said Johnson in his FOX Sports 1 victory interview. “I was trying to be smart with my line and I guess guys on two tires weren’t all that fast.

Johnson also made some NASCAR history on Sunday at Dover. He became only the fifth driver to capture 10 Sprint Cup Series victories at a single track. He joins a short list of Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson.

Harvick, driving a blue No. 4 Ditech Chevrolet this weekend, came home in the runner-up spot by 0.435 seconds. The California native has scored nine top five and 12 top 10 finishes through 13 races this season.

One of the struggles for Harvick was the late race restarts. “We just struggled at the end of the race on restarts, really all day on the restarts,” said Harvick in an interview. “Once the track bar broke, we were pretty much in a box and just kind of had to hold on for the first 25 laps and if we weren't in the front then we struggled to just maintain what we had.”

Kyle Larson brought home his best finish of the season today with a third-place run in the FedEx 400 at the Dover International Speedway. Larson had a very quiet day despite starting the event in the third position. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver recorded his first top five finish of the year on Sunday after 12 races.

Martin Truex Jr. came out on the short end once again after leading the most laps of any driver during the 400-mile event. Truex, who captured the victory at Dover in 2007, started the race on the front row in second. The New Jersey native passed Denny Hamlin for the lead on lap 42 and led three different times throughout the long afternoon.

Denny Hamlin, who started on the pole, had a good day going for him until lap 385. While racing inside the top 10, Clint Bowyer got into the back of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota that sent him into the No. 41 of Kurt Busch. Despite leading 118 laps, Hamlin will walk away with a disappointing 21st-place finish.

Kyle Busch is another driver who had a decent run taken away from him. Busch and Brian Scott made contact with one another that brought out the caution on lap 375. Both drivers climbed out of the cars uninjured after the wreck that ended their day.

Trevor Bayne, Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier all were involved in the caution on lap 174. Bayne, who of course was upset over the incident, climbed out of his car before safety crews arrived. Because of this, NASCAR called him to the hauler after the race. Each of these cars were able to return later on.

The next race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be at the Pocono Raceway. Coverage will begin on FOX Sports 1 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The Motor Racing Network will also carry the live radio broadcast. 

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.