Johnson looking to add to momentum at Dover
Six-time Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson won for the first time this season at last weeks Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. If that wasnt enough to alert any detractors that he hasnt gone anywhere, hes racing Sunday at Dover International Speedway a track where he has eight career victories.
There is a feel, a sensation, I look for to get around this race track, said Johnson, who starts fourth in the FedEx 400. Everything has worked well for me, for (crew chief) Chad Knaus, for the team, our equipment. Its just been a very good track for us.
Heres another indication of how tough Johnson is at Dover: In 24 career starts, hes finished in the top five 12 times and has only failed to finish twice.
No hard feelings: Theres no bad blood between Johnson and Matt Kenseth for Kenseths move to block Johnson late in last weeks Coca-Cola 600.
When it comes to the end of the race, everything is out the window, said Johnson, who went on to pass Kenseth for the victory. I dont expect anybody to be polite and courteous and give me all kinds of room.
Said Kenseth, who finished second to Johnson: Youve got to do whatever you can to try to win the race toward the end. Obviously I knew that I wasnt going to be able to stay in front of him as fast as he was, but you still want to try to stay there. As I got farther down the straightaway, it was clear he was going to get in the hole there, so I had to move back up and give him his lane.
Practice makes perfect: For those drivers all but assured of berths in the Chase, racing at a unique track like Dover, which is also included in the playoffs in the fall, provides a chance to study up.
Its the only track that we have that is like this, said Jeff Gordon. One-mile, high-banked, big sweeping corners and its concrete. You carry a lot of speed into the corner. You have to be really committed to the throttle and the steering wheel.
Sharing the wealth: Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick are the Cup series only multiple race winners this season, with two apiece. The 10 different race winners are the most since 2003, when there were 11 through 12 races.
Three things to watch
1. Pole winner Brad Keselowski was fast again in practice on Saturday morning, when he had the fastest lap. He likes the Monster Mile: his win in the fall of 2012 helped kick-start his drive to the championship.
2. If Kyle Busch leads 28 laps Sunday, he will become the 15th driver in NASCAR history to lead at least 10,000 laps in his career. Busch starts on the front row with Keselowski.
3. Logano note after nationwide race .
• The spring Dover race has a similar feel to the PGA Tours tournament at Hilton Head the week after the Masters. After 10 intense days in Charlotte, the NASCAR crowd gets a chance to step back and take a breath at the Monster Mile.
• Theyre racing Sunday for one of the coolest trophies in motorsports a statue of Dovers ferocious Miles the Monster.
• Looking for a darkhorse? Greg Biffle, winless this year, runs well at Dover. Hes got two career victories and starts 12th.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less