WITH his thespian feat in a Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500, Jimmie Johnson tied a late Dale Earnhardt with 76 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition victories, seventh on a all-time list.
And afterwards, Johnson did a right thing, holding a feat path around Atlanta Motor Speedway with 3 fingers out a window to salute a late seven-time champion.
“I entered a competition usually anticipating we could win a competition and keep a pursuit for a few years, and to have 76 and tie Dale Earnhardt Sr. is something I’m very, unequivocally unapproachable of,” Johnson, himself a six-time champion, said.
“I didn’t have a possibility to competition opposite him, unfortunately, though currently — there’s been a large blank in my mind about not carrying that possibility to competition opposite him, and it was literally a handful of months divided from carrying that opportunity.
“So to tie him today, for myself personally, it gives me a small something — it’s a small bit of connection to a good Dale Earnhardt and something I’m unequivocally unapproachable of.”
Johnson also talked with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., about restraining a record.
“I usually done certain that we spoke to Junior a small bit, and he common with me that he unequivocally feels like his father would have had a ton of honour for me and would have enjoyed racing opposite me, and we would have had a good friendship,” pronounced Johnson. “Kind of covering that bottom with Dale a while ago helped me.”
Congrats to my crony and teammate @JimmieJohnson on restraining my father currently in Cup wins. Proud to have ran 2nd on this useful occasion.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 28, 2016
Johnson had copiousness of support on his team.
“God, it’s amazing,” pronounced his organisation chief, Chad Knaus. “Jimmie is flattering awesome, isn’t he? Let’s be honest, he’s usually a heck of a competition automobile driver. He’s a lot of fun for me to work with.”
“I consider when we demeanour during Jimmie’s career and we demeanour during how discerning he’s gotten to 76 and he’s got 6 championships, we consider you’ve got to contend that he’s one of a best that’s ever been in a sport,” combined group owners Rick Hendrick.
“You know, it means a lot to him and a lot to all of us. We’re all large Earnhardt fans, though it’s going to be engaging to see how many races and championships Jimmie and Chad can win.”
All-time NASCAR Premier Series victories
Richard Petty — 200
David Pearson — 105
Jeff Gordon — 93
Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip — 84
Cale Yarborough — 83
Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson — 76
Johnson hold off a rest of a margin after a late counsel took a competition to overtime.
A shining preference by Knaus to move Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet to array highway early to benefit lane position resulted in giving Johnson a 13-second lead with 37 laps to go, it looked like Johnson was going to cruise simply to his fifth career Cup win during a Atlanta track.
But with 3 laps to go, Ryan Newman blew a left-rear tire on his No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, erasing a 6-second lead Johnson still had on Kevin Harvick and bringing out a counsel dwindle to set adult a green-white-checkered overtime finish.
On a indirect restart, Harvick stumbled and Kyle Busch jumped to second — though he could not locate Johnson and, in fact, finished adult removing kick to a finish line for second by Earnhardt Jr. as a large mutilate behind a leaders brought out another counsel and finished a race.
Of Knaus’ call to come to array highway 6 laps before anyone else in a margin and 9 laps before Harvick on what incited out to be a next-to-last stop of a race, Johnson told FOX Sports: “It really was a gutsy call. Just such a group effort. The 4 automobile (of Harvick) was extremely tough and it was going to take some plan to get by him.”
Harvick led 131 of a initial 288 laps. But he mislaid a lead not usually since Knaus systematic Jonhnson to array highway before everybody else — though Johnson’s No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports organisation subsequently pulled off an 11.2-second stop. When Harvick came in for his stop 9 laps later, his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing organisation took 15.5 seconds for a same 4 tires and fuel.
“We usually didn’t execute,” Harvick said.
Kenseth led 47 laps during a initial one-third of a race, though a dear pit-road chastisement might have cost him a shot during victory.
During a green-flag stop on Lap 121, Kenseth pitted for 4 tires and fuel on his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. When he did, his gasman placed a wedge-adjustment wrench on a box of Kenseth’s automobile while he was fuelling it.
By rules, a gasman can't do anything other than fuel a automobile when a gas can is engaged. NASCAR held a infringement and penalised a team.
Kenseth’s organisation chief, Jason Ratcliff, vehemently argued a box with NASCAR officials. But while a contention was going on, Kenseth got black-flagged. He eventually was penalised one path for a array infringement and another for ignoring a black flag, holding one of a fastest cars in a margin from a lead to dual laps down.
It was a caution-free competition for a initial 209 laps, with a initial yellow dwindle entrance out on Lap 210 for debris. That represented a longest green-flag run in story during a start of a Sprint Cup competition during a 1.5-mile Atlanta track.
Rounding out a tip 5 in finishing sequence after Johnson and Earnhardt were Kyle Busch, pole-sitter Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards. Harvick finished adult sixth.
Of restraining Earnhardt for seventh place on a all-time Cup wins list, Johnson was philosophical.
“It’s such an honour,” he said. “With all a disharmony during a finish of a competition and a pile-up and a overtime and wondering how it all works these days, we kind of mislaid steer of that.
“I remembered it on my feat path and had to come by and chuck a ‘3’ out a window to compensate respects to a man.”
RESULTS — NASCAR Sprint Cup Rd. 2, Atlanta
1. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 330 laps, 44 points.
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 330, 39.
3. Kyle Busch, Toyota, 330, 39.
4. Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 330, 38.
5. Carl Edwards, Toyota, 330, 37.
6. Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 330, 37.
7. Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 330, 35.
8. Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 330, 33.
9. Brad Keselowski, Ford, 330, 32.
10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 330, 31.
11. Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 330, 30.
12. Joey Logano, Ford, 330, 29.
13. Greg Biffle, Ford, 329, 28.
14. Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 329, 27.
15. Aric Almirola, Ford, 328, 26.
16. Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 328, 25.
17. Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 328, 0.
18. Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 328, 23.
19. Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 328, 23.
20. Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 328, 21.
21. Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 328, 20.
22. Trevor Bayne, Ford, 328, 19.
23. Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 328, 18.
24. Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 328, 17.
25. Ryan Blaney, Ford, 328, 16.
26. Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 327, 15.
27. AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 326, 14.
28. Chris Buescher, Ford, 326, 13.
29. Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 326, 12.
30. Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 325, 11.
31. Brian Scott, Ford, 324, 10.
32. David Ragan, Toyota, 323, 9.
33. Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 323, 8.
34. Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 323, 7.
35. Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 322, 6.
36. Landon Cassill, Ford, 321, 5.
37. Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 318, 5.
38. Jeffrey Earnhardt, Ford, 313, 3.
39. Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 312, 2.
Story creatively seemed on foxsports.com