Jimmie Johnson breaks his Michigan curse with win Sunday

Jimmie Johnson holds off Kevin Harvick to win at Michigan! Here's Amanda Vincent with the race recap....

Jimmie Johnson breaks his Michigan curse with win Sunday

Jimmie Johnson has now won three of the last four races; making him the first driver to win three times in 2014. His victory at Michigan marks his first in 25 attempts at the circuit. He was able to hold off Kevin Harvick, who mounted a late-race charge but failed to reach the No. 48 after disposing of both Menard and Keselowski.

"They've been so good here at Michigan and couldn't close the deal," Johnson's car owner Rick Hendrick said after the race.

It was the fifth­ consecutive win for Hendrick Motorsports this year, with Johnson winning three of the last four.

The race was put behind the pace car eight different times including two in immediate succession to kick off the race. Brian Vickers and Travis Kvapil wrecked out of the event on the opening lap and then half a lap into the following restart, a multi-car accident ensued between Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Martin Truex Jr. While Kahne and Larson would rebound for solid results, Stenhouse, Truex, and Vickers were forced to leave Michigan disappointed

"We've always talked about winning here and been so close," Johnson said. Johnson got the lead after staying out during the eighth and final caution of the race that came out for debris on lap 147. After staying out, he restarted second to Jamie McMurray. He quickly moved out in front of the No. 1 car however.

Previous race leaders, Harvick and Joey Logano pitted under caution, along with several others, and restarted behind the handful who opted to stay out. Johnson was among the 'stayed out contingent,' thus making his final green-flag pit-stop long before many of his rivaks.

"Strategy always comes into play (at Michigan)," Keselowski, who pitted under the final caution, said.

After pitting with 35 to go, Johnson ran outside the top five, but as other drivers hit pit road in the final 20 circuits, Johnson gradually moved closer and closer to the front. He was back on point with just nine laps to go.

"As those laps wound down at the end, I was wondering what would happen," Johnson revealed. "Fortunately, nothing happened."

Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Paul Menard finished fourth and Kasey Kahne was fifth. For Menard, it was a great showing to cap off a weekend where he won his first Nationwide race since 2006 on Saturday. As for Kahne, he fought hard for that fifth place result after an early spin put him a lap down.

"We really needed that," Kahne said. "We had a lot of adjustments; it took us about (90 minutes) to get the car right. It was a battle."

Harvick and Gordon controlled the race early on with Harvick leading the opening laps before Gordon took over around lap 25. Harvick responded and was back in control by lap 60.

Johnson led the race for the first time after taking two tires during the third caution of the race that came out on lap 72, but his lead was short-­lived as Logano passed him by. Just as the event reached the halfway point, the No. 48 reasserted itself as the car to beat.

Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished sixth and seventh to put all four HMS entries in the top ten at the end of the day. The No. 42 of Kyle Larson finished eighth (highest rookie), Joey Logano ninth, and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top ten for MWR.

Rookie Justin Allgaier brought home the best result of his young career in 16th. Juan Pablo Montoya finished 18th in his return to NASCAR this weekend, driving for Team Penske.

Kyle Busch finished back in 41st after he broke a left rear hub partway through the event while running sixth. His teammate Denny Hamlin also had a poor showing after a spin with Aric Almirola. Austin Dillon had a promising day going until a late-race tire failure spoiled what could have been a top fifteen, or even top ten result for the ROTY contender.

NASCAR now prepares for their first road course event of the year at Sonoma Raceway, located in Southern California.

shares
comments
Ford Motor Company ‘goes further’ with Homestead-Miami Speedway

Previous article

Ford Motor Company ‘goes further’ with Homestead-Miami Speedway

Next article

Chevy NSCS at Michigan One: Post race notes and quotes

Chevy NSCS at Michigan One: Post race notes and quotes
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021