Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Jimmie Johnson finally wins at Michigan

By
From page B1 | June 16, 2014 |

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson acknowledges the fans after winning the NASCAR Quicken Loans 400 auto race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., Sunday, June 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Brodbeck)

BROOKLYN, Mich. — In the final seconds of his first victory at Michigan International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson could finally relax a bit.

“About 200 yards before the finish line, I knew if the car exploded, I’d still slide across the finish line,” Johnson said.

Johnson and his No. 48 Chevrolet made it through the last few laps with a comfortable lead, and the six-time series champion won Sunday for the first time in 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at MIS. Johnson outlasted pole winner Kevin Harvick by 1.214 seconds for his third victory in four races. He also won at Charlotte and Dover.

It was the fifth victory in a row for Chevy and Hendrick Motorsports. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. also have won during the streak that doesn’t count Jamie McMurray’s win for Chevy and Chip Ganassi in the Sprint All-Star race last month.

Brad Keselowski finished third Sunday after two straight runner-up showings at Dover and Pocono. Paul Menard was fourth, followed by Kasey Kahne, Gordon and Earnhardt in the 400-mile, 200-lap race.

Johnson had finished in the top five four times previously at Michigan, including a second-place showing in August 2011. He lost in August 2012 when his engine faltered with six laps remaining.

“It was a long time coming,” crew chief Chad Knaus said. “We’ve raced very well up here, and we haven’t been able to close the deal on quite a few occasions.”

There are now only four tracks on the current schedule where Johnson has never won — Kentucky, Watkins Glen, Chicagoland and Homestead-Miami. Johnson had led in 15 previous Cup races at MIS.

“It’s good to see Jimmie, after leading so many laps here, close the deal,” owner Rick Hendrick said. “We’ve run out of gas, broke motors, blown tires.”

Johnson led after 164 laps Sunday before stopping to pit and giving up the lead. He was back in front with about 10 laps to go following a cycle of pit stops by other drivers.

“We really were in a win-win situation,” Johnson said. “Those guys still had to come to pit road to make it to the end. Once I got an idea of how the race was unfolding, I knew we were in the catbird seat, and were able to take advantage of it.”

Hendrick had four drivers in the top seven.

Johnson is trying for his seventh Cup title, which would tie the mark shared by Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt. This was his 69th career victory, and he’s the first driver with three wins in 2014.

“Even at 69 wins, I still cherish them all,” Johnson said. “It is not easy to win in this sport.”

Hendrick’s team, however, is making it look easy, having won five straight races for the third time. Hendrick accomplished the feat twice in 2007, including a six-race streak.

Gordon’s sixth-place finish was enough to keep him atop the points race, with Hendrick teammates Johnson and Earnhardt in second and third.

Ford had won the last three Cup races at Michigan, with Joey Logano prevailing last August and Greg Biffle winning twice before that. Keselowski couldn’t extend that streak, and Logano finished ninth.

“We kind of trudged through it and came away with another top-three effort, which is good but not great,” said Keselowski, who was unable to come away with a victory in his home state. “We want the wins, especially here at Michigan. That would mean a lot.”

Keselowski, who has a couple Nationwide victories at Michigan, is 0 for 10 in Cup races at the track.

It was a rough day for Roush Fenway Racing, which has a record 13 Cup victories at Michigan. Biffle finished 20th and Carl Edwards was 23rd.

Kyle Busch was forced out of the race because of a problem with his left rear hub. He finished 41st and dropped from sixth to 10th in the standings.

Harvick qualified at over 204 mph Friday, the fastest pole-winning speed since 1987. He led for a race-high 63 laps but had to settle for his third second-place finish this year, to go along with two wins and three poles.

“The car was fast, just wound up on the wrong side of all the strategy,” he said.

Menard won the Nationwide race Saturday and managed a fourth-place finish Sunday.

“I actually got to go to Victory Lane yesterday with my daughter and my dad was here today, so it was a good Father’s Day weekend for sure,” he said. “We needed some clean air at the end and the guys got me out front with some pit strategy and good pit stops and we came home with a top five.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Fire Department honors top firefighters

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
     
     
     
    4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Banish dry skin this winter

    By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4, 1 Comment

     
    Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

    By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

     
    County board to consider DA reorganization plan

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

    Eurozone offers lesson in debt

    By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

     
    Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

    By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

     
    Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    .

    US / World

    From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

     
    NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

     
    Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    ‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    California health care contract fight resolved

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
     
    Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

    Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

     
    5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Opinion

    Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

     
     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Prayer, commonly misunderstood

    By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3, 7 Comments

     
    Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

     
    Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

    Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

     
    .

    Entertainment

    PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

    New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    .

    Sports

    Mustangs win the whole Encalada

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    .

    Business

    On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

     
    Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

    Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Anthony Neal Hunley

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Frank Z. Perez

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Flora Mae Brooks

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Lester Singer

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics