Jimmie Johnson wins at FedEx 400 in a green-white-checkered

  • 2015 NASCAR FedEx 400, race

Consistent driving and good tactics earned Jimmie Johnson the tenth win at the Dover International Speedway. The FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks race began at 1:15pm ET under partly cloudy skies at the famous Monster Mile. Denny Hamlin started the race from the pole position, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth. Kyle Larson battled with Joey Logano to hold onto his fifth place, while Kevin Harvick was on fourth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had to start from the rear due to a rear end change, but immediately started climbing up the pack. Casey Mears and Sam Hornish Jr almost collided, but luckily no serious damage was made to either of the cars.

Kevin Harvick pushed Kenseth down to fourth, and after 41 laps, Hamlin lost his lead to Truex Jr. and the second place to Kevin Harvick. The first caution of the race flew on lap 73 because of debris on track and numerous cars went to the pits for tire changes and refueling. In a pit drag race, Hamlin was faster than Truex Jr. and reclaimed his leading position. The race restarted on lap 80 with no major place switches until Kyle Busch took the fourth from Kevin Harvick. Dale Jr. was making great progress during that period, overtaking the incoming cars in a virtuous manner. An hour into the race, Hamlin had a stable but close lead, but on lap 144, Truex went to the leading position. During that period, Denny Hamlin dropped to sixth.

Ever since Truex Jr. got to the leading position, he started increasing his lead over Hamlin to over a second and a half at one point. The green flag stops started around lap 159. During that period, Carl Edwards went to the top and the second caution came when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit the wall. The yellow flag caught Dale Jr. in the leading position and Carl Edwards faced penalty because of a wrench still on his car when he exited the pits. However, Dale Jr. pitted under yellow which returned Truex Jr. to the lead when the race restated on lap 168. Michael Annett hit Trevor Bayne while trying to squeeze in and overtake him, causing the yellow flag on lap 175. Justin Allgaier was also involved in the accident. The race restarted on lap 188.

Halfway into the race, Truex Jr. was in front of Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Harvick, while Hamlin was on 15th. With Truex holding the stable lead, the battle for second was won by Kevin Harvick who managed to overtake both Kenseth and Kyle Busch. A new round of green flag stops began on lap 246 and race leader also went to refuel. Dale Jr. and Carl Edwards were penalized for pit road speeding. The pit cycle made Hamlin the leader, but as he didn’t pit, Kevin Harvick took the lead. Annett’s loose tire caused the fourth yellow flag on lap 260, and he had to serve a drive-through penalty because of it. The race restarted on lap 266 with Truex attacking Harvick, but current Sprint Cup champion quickly increased his lead to almost 2.5s, which was the biggest lead of the day up to that point.

With 100 laps to go, Harvick had a stable lead over Truex Jr, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson. However, on lap 302, Jimmie Johnson went to third. On lap 316, Johnson jumped to second by overtaking Truex Jr, but Harvick was more than three seconds in front of him. On lap 325, Martin Truex Jr went to the pits which kickstarted a wave of green light pit stops. Kyle Busch emerged as the leader, but as Busch went to the pits, he was replaced by Clint Bowyer and then Brad Keselowski who was followed by Joey Logano. With 47 laps to go Logano decided to pit, while Keselowski stayed on track until 43 to go, when he gave up the lead to go to the pits. That put Harvick back in the leading position.

 

With 25 laps to go, a caution flag flew for Kyle Busch slamming Brian Scott in the wall while trying to lap him from the inside. Truex Jr. went to the pits, rolling out of the road on third position with fresh tires. The race restarted with 17 laps to with Jimmie Johnson in the lead, but the yellow flag flew with 15 to go when Clint Bowyer bumped Hamlin, causing him to slide off track, not collecting anyone luckily. Kurt Busch also spun and suffered more damage than Hamlin.

The race restarted with 10 laps to go with Jimmie Johnson in the lead. Kahne and Truex Jr. pushed Harvick down to fourth. With two laps to go, Casey Mears and AJ Allmendinger were involved in a crash which led to a green-white-checkered finish.

In a green white checkered finish, Jimmie Johnson took the victory, his tenth in Dover. Harvick was the second, followed by Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola in top five. Truex Jr. scored a disappointing six in a bad restart, and was followed by Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon in top 10.

Related Posts