The Final Word – Dover and the FedEx 400 Benefiting Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson. Four wins in 2015. Ten wins at Dover. Seventy-four wins over the course of his career, just two shy of Dale Earnhardt’s total. Six championships. Gee, I wonder if he might ever make the Hall of Fame?

He becomes only the fifth driver in NASCAR history to claim such dominance at a single track. Mind you, we’ve long been placing his name alongside such drivers as…

-Richard Petty (Daytona – 10, Martinsville – 15, North Wilkesboro – 15, Richmond – 13, Rockingham – 11)

-David Pearson (Darlington – 10)

-Darrell Waltrip (Bristol – 12, Martinsville – 11, North Wilkesboro – 10)

-Dale Earnhardt (Talladega – 10)…not counting the nine each he won at Atlanta, Bristol, and Darlington.

Kevin Harvick was the runner-up and with two wins he holds the same position amongst the season leaders. Kyle Larson was third, but like the fourth place Aric Almirola, a win is what they need to be in the Chase. Martin Truex Jr. was sixth, but with a 140-point advantage over Clint Bowyer in the standings, he is still very good to go. Bowyer is 17th on the season and ninth on Sunday. The rest of the day’s Top Ten, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Jeff Gordon, remain solidly in the Top Sixteen, at least for now.

For some, this day was in the pits, or at least that is where great days went to die. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick were in the Top-Fifteen, but were left wondering if not for pit penalties just what kind of day they might have had. Same for the 19th place Carl Edwards.

Truex was amongst two that dominated early while Denny Hamlin led 118 laps including the opening 41 circuits. After a wreck caused by Bowyer that also caught Kurt Busch, Hamlin finished 21st, Busch 31st.

As for brother Kyle, he looked strong the entire race, or at least the 90 percent he ran. With 25 to go, he and Brian Scott wrecked, leaving the younger Busch 36th. After missing so much of the season due to his Daytona injuries, he will need to win at least once and make up the 168 gap between himself and the 30th ranked Justin Allgaier over the next 13 events to make the playoff hunt. That is a gain of 13 per race. On Sunday, he gained just seven points on the 42nd placed Allgaier. It still can be done.

Landon Cassill was 23rd on the day. The 26-year-old has been making the news, though off the track. After the World 600, he ran the 14-miles from the track to the Hall of Fame…on foot. Last Wednesday, he became Beckham Bear Alan Cassill’s dad. Pretty sweet.

What is better, Cup action or IndyCar? Whatever you believe, it is not worth choking your fiancé over. It was a lovely domestic scene in Indiana as both were hitting the suds all day, then with he making dinner and her listening to the action from Indianapolis, the topic reared its ugly head. It appears that both are fine, but he does need a lawyer. No word as to whether the engagement is off or not.

Dover had its moments and a few surprises. Actually, not a bad way to spend your Sunday afternoon. As for Pocono next weekend, Earnhardt comes in after sweeping 2014 while each of his Hendrick teammates has claimed the previous three. Gordon has six in total, Johnson three, but Hamlin could spoil the party having four of his own. Now, if only Bowyer will let him get to the finish.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


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