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Jimmie Johnson adds another win to Dover tally

Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane after winning the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane after winning the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Jimmie Johnson added to his Dover (Del.) International Speedway win tally on Sunday with his win in the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. It marked his 10th-career win for the track’s all-time winningest driver, making him the fifth driver in NASCAR history to claim at least 10 wins at a single track.

“That’s pretty spectacular,” Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus said. “Couldn’t be happier.”

Kevin Harvick finished second, Kyle Larson was third, Kasey Kahne fourth, and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five.

“Really good run for us, first top-three of the year,” Larson said. “Proud of my guys for the job they did to rebound from last week to bring a better car to the race track. That was just a nice solid day.”

Johnson restarted the race first for a green-white-checker attempt that extended the race to 400 laps. Kahne was alongside on the front row. When the race restarted for the last time, Johnson got a shot from Harvick that pushed him out to the lead and on to the win.

“The No. 4 car (Harvick) rallied me from behind,” Johnson said. “I’m thankful he hit that hard, because it allowed me to click it in third (gear) and keep going.”

Harvick and Johnson, already running up front, opted to stay out on their older tires when a yellow flag waved with about 25 laps to go. Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. pitted for two tires, and Denny Hamlin took four. Johnson took the lead from Harvick on the restart and ran up front the rest of the way.

“The No. 4 and I did just fine on old tires and holding those guys off,” Johnson said. “It was a long-fought day.”

Hamlin and Truex started the race on the front row and combined to dominate beyond the halfway point of the race. In the end, they were the only two drivers who led more than 100 laps. Truex led a race-high 131 laps, while Hamlin led 118.

“We had a good car today, but it was never right,” Truex said.  “We made some changes today, and we made some gains on it but never really got it where we needed it.”

Hamlin led the first 41 laps before losing the lead to Truex. Hamlin retook the lead by getting off pit road first during a lap 74 caution, only to lose the lead to Truex on lap 144.

The first laps of the race not led by Truex or Hamlin came through a cycle of green-flag pit stops that got underway on lap 152. But after the cycle and then a caution on lap 163, Truex was back up front. Hamlin, though, had a slow stop during the green cycle. He restarted sixth, gave up more spots to pit during another caution a few laps later and then lost a few more positions when the race returned to green.

Hamlin got back up toward the front, but contact from Greg Biffle on lap 385 resulted in Hamlin making contact with Kurt Busch.

Harvick was the leader after another cycle of green-flag stops that began on lap 246, and Johnson moved up to second with 87 laps remaining.

Truex finished sixth, Jamie McMurray seventh, Paul Menard eighth, Bowyer ninth and Jeff Gordon was 10th.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner

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Posted by on May 31, 2015. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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