Tuesday, March 31, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Wins leader Johnson driver to beat again at Dover

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson adjusts his helmet during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race, Saturday, May 31, 2014, at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

By
From page B1 | June 01, 2014 |

DOVER, Del. — Jimmie Johnson busted the definition of a minor slump at Charlotte.

His 0 for 11 start left some wondering when Johnson would take a checkered flag.

The six-time champ can check that off the list after winning the Coca-Cola 600. Now, it’s off to Dover International Speedway where Johnson is the heavy favorite Sunday to start a winning streak — and add to his resume as the track’s greatest driver.

“We are coming to my favorite racetrack,” Johnson said, “and by the stats, probably our best track as well.”

When Johnson held off teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. down the stretch in September, he zipped his way into the Dover record book with his eighth win. Johnson had shared the mark of seven wins on the concrete mile with Bobby Allison and Richard Petty. He swept Dover in 2002 and 2009 and won races in 2005, 2010 and 2012. He needed only 24 starts to win eight — Petty needed 46 races to win seven times and Allison had 35 races.

Johnson was humbled by holding a place in history with NASCAR Hall of Famers.

“When I look at the people that I’m tying or have the opportunity to beat for those great titles, it’s the heroes of our sport,” he said. “When you look at their stats and what they’ve done for our sport, household names, it’s no small feat to tie or have the opportunity to beat these guys for races won at the track.”

Johnson held his baby daughter in his arms in Victory Lane for the first time in 2010, and he celebrated in a clown wig in 2012.

Sweet or silly, a Johnson romp at Dover has become an expected part of the NASCAR season.

His eight wins match his total at Martinsville for most at one track, checkered flags waved from the pre-Chase era through the Car of Tomorrow all the way to the Gen-6. But the cool, confident Johnson behind the wheel of the No. 48 Chevrolet with crew chief Chad Knaus calling the shots hasn’t changed.

“Regardless of change, there are just some tracks that work well for you,” Johnson said. “You are able to still find that feeling you are looking for regardless of circumstances.”

Johnson qualified fourth for Sunday’s race (Brad Keselowski won the pole), which will surely keep him in the mix for win No. 9. He won from eighth last season and has rallied from as far back as 19th in 2002 to win.

He owns the largest collection of Monster trophies awarded by the track. Known as the Monster Mile, the Dover winner gets a menacing Miles The Monster trophy that weighs 60 pounds and measures at just under 1½ feet from the base to the top of the hand that clutches a mini car.

Johnson keeps five on the top shelf of a bar at his home. He has the rest scattered around a pub set up inside a warehouse for his classic car collection.

“They’re a big trophy and they certainly draw a lot of attention,” Johnson said.

Here are five things to know heading into the race:

FAVORITE TRACK: Jimmie Johnson has eight good reasons to call Dover his favorite track. But he’s not the only driver who enjoys his 400-mile spins around the concrete monster. Joey Logano, who won the pole for Saturday’s Nationwide race, also loves Dover. “This is definitely my favorite track,” he said. “I grew up in Connecticut and we aren’t too far down the road from there. This is a neat place to run at.” How about you Matt Kenseth? “It’s always been one of my favorites,” he said. “You can attack it. It’s one of the tracks that’s pretty hard to get around fast by yourself and then you throw all of them cars out there and it makes it a lot harder.” Of course, having Johnson and his eight wins at Dover makes winning a lot harder, also. Kenseth has two wins in 30 starts at Dover; Logano has yet to win a Cup race at Dover.

PLAY IT AGAIN: Dover is always a key race because it can help teams form a better game plan for when the series returns Sept. 28. Dover is third in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship lineup, made even more important this season because of NASCAR’s new elimination format. After Dover, the 16-driver field will be trimmed to 12. It will be a last gasp for some drivers to hang or boost their spot for a championship run. A strong run Sunday can certainly serve as confidence-building opening act for September’s big show. “We’re looking for as much information as we can gather to make sure that if we’re in the Chase and come back, we can be competitive enough to go win the championship and be strong at that race,” four-time Jeff Gordon said. “There’s no doubt that this is an important track. We recognize that this is a track that you can win this championship with.”

HAMLIN HELPS: Denny Hamlin will drive Sunday with an Autism Speaks puzzle piece paint scheme on the No. 11 Toyota. Hamlin and members of his FedEx racing team donated toys to families at the track from Toys R Us that can help children with autism develop language, creativity and social skills. FedEx returns as the title sponsor of the race for the fourth straight year, “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.” ”It costs these families a lot of money to have a child with autism, a lot of time,” Hamlin said. “It’s important for us to keep with that cause.” The track has a dedicated area with a quiet zone for parents to help their children escape the crowd, if necessary.

PATRICK’S START: Danica Patrick’s recent run of strong qualifying starts ended with a thud at Dover, coming in 28th. She started seventh at Talladega, ninth at Kansas (and finished seventh), and fourth last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Most of the people that are sitting there saying she is not doing a good job have never set foot in a race car to begin with,” car owner and teammate Tony Stewart said. “I don’t really pay attention to that too much. I think she is doing a good job or we wouldn’t have her here.”

CUP DEBUT: Brett Moffitt is set to make his Sprint Cup debut driving the No. 66 Jay Robinson Racing Toyota. The 21-year-old Moffitt has tested for Michael Waltrip Racing and won at Dover in the K&N Pro Series East series. The ride comes as part of a partnership with MWR. He starts a solid 18th, two spots ahead of Tony Stewart. He made one Nationwide Series start in 2012 and two in the Truck Series last season.

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

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 13 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Authorities release names of Sunday crash victims

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

 
 
Ex-FBI agent sentenced to 10 years in Afghan kickback scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
BNSF railroad adds new safety rules for crude oil trains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
California leaders routinely use private email

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Church van crashes into canal, killing 8 and injuring 10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee pastor, son who saved 3 boys among Carnegie Heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pentagon chief considers easing of enlistment standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
NSA: Car smashes into police vehicle at Fort Meade; 1 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Former Israeli Premier Olmert convicted in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prosecutors: Co-pilot treated for suicidal tendencies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Guinea shuts border with Sierra Leone in effort to end Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Saudi-led forces strike Yemen rebels, blockade ports

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Iran nuclear talks near deadline; differences remain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prosecution rests its case against Boston Marathon bomber

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Opinion

Rebuild Gaza to avert next war

By Former President Jimmy Carter | From Page: A13

 
Reid’s US Senate legacy: Obstruction

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A13

State moves up national school spending chart

By Dan Walters | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 31, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

NBC, Cirque du Soleil bringing ‘The Wiz’ to TV, Broadway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Animal Planet lives wild with its new programming slate

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Attorney: Robin Williams’ wife wants to keep wedding tuxedo

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eliane Elias enjoys musical homecoming on new CD

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No ‘narsisstics': Music festivals ban fans’ selfie sticks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

5 things to know about new ‘Daily Show’ anchor Trevor Noah

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
TVGrid March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Four No. 1 seeds in the women’s Final Four

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
UConn reaches 8th straight Final Four with win over Dayton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Grizzlies beat Kings 97-83 to end three-game skid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cauley-Stein, Kaminsky, Okafor among Wooden Award finalists

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hendricks’ shutout streak ends, Cubs top Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lawrie hits 2 homers as A’s rout Rockies 11-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Montoya has swagger back, but also shows softer side

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A year later than expected, Michigan St back in Final Four

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Connecticut governor: move ’16 Final Four unless law changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders re-sign free agent defensive lineman C.J. Wilson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

2 Alabama players arrested in separate weekend cases

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Falcons fined, lose draft pick for pumping in fake noise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Racial quotas controversy re-emerges in South African sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NFL suspends Browns GM for texting, team holds onto picks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Kaminsky, Okafor lead 2014-15 AP All-America team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Ex-NASCAR driver gets jail after 3-state high-speed chase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Nebraska, winner in 14 of last 15, at front of Big Ten surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
McGraw appreciates Notre Dame women’s run more than ever

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Gonzaga’s great season ends in Elite Eight but more ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
StubHub files lawsuit against Ticketmaster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Judge again rules Joe Paterno can’t sue for contract breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Free agent linebacker Lance Briggs visiting with 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fiancee says she discarded box at Aaron Hernandez’s request

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

US consumer spending edges up 0.1 percent in February

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
UnitedHealth bulks up for prescription drug cost battle

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Business forecasters boost 2-year outlook for US economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Amazon.com offering to help get jobs done around the house

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

McDonald’s to test all-day breakfast beginning in April

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
SEC files fraud charges against Lynn Tilton, firms

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

US university, foundation invested in frozen Chinese stocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Regulators plan to drop case at closed California nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Michigan entrepreneur claiming idea for Heinz Dip & Squeeze

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

For Better or Worse March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Zits March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Get Fuzzy March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Bridge March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Sudoku March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Baby Blues March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Frank and Ernest March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

B.C. March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Blondie March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Peanuts March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baldo March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Dilbert March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Beetle Bailey March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Sally Forth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Rose is Rose March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Wizard of Id March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7