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Keeping Pace

NSCS Recap: Johnson Wins Third Race At The Brickyard

Jimmie Johnson ran behind race leader Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Martin until Montoya received a pass-through speeding penalty during a late race pit stop.


Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

Jimmie Johnson might not have had the fastest car here Sunday for most of the race. Nonetheless, his car was fastest when it counted the most— the last 25 laps of the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard.
   

Johnson ran behind race leader Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Martin until Montoya received a pass-through speeding penalty during a late race pit stop.
   

That put Montoya back in the pack and another caution a few laps after a restart compounded things for the man who led 118 of the 160-lap distance. Starting from 12th, Montoya improved his position by one spot to finish 11th.
   

The race was left for Martin, who took the lead shortly after the final restart with 25 laps to go. Johnson, however, had other ideas and zipped past his Hendrick Motorsports teammate a lap later and held Martin off to the end. It made it back to back wins for Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe’s team, a first for this race.    

 

NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader and two-time champion Tony Stewart finished third with Greg Biffle fourth. Brian Vickers was fifth in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota and Kevin Harvick was sixth. Kasey Kahne was seventh, David Reutimann was eighth, four-time champion Jeff Gordon finished ninth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 10. Montoya was 11th and rookie Joey Logano was 12th.   

  

The 43-car field didn’t complete a lap before Robby Gordon spun in turn four. Elliott Sadler drove onto pit road while his crew searched for a possible oil leak. On the restart at Lap 3, Montoya
put some daylight between himself and the field, signaling he might have the Chevrolet to beat on a beautiful summer day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After all, Montoya certainly knew the way to victory lane at this shrine, having won the Indianapolis 500 in a Chip Ganassi machine the only time he ran it back in 2000.
  

After a routine round of green flag pit stops between laps 40 and 45, Montoya still led with Martin second. Stewart was third.
   

Kyle Busch brought out a caution on Lap 58 and slammed into the outside wall. He drove his car into the garage area and parked it even though he had been running in the top 10. The day was looking pretty gloomy for Gibbs Racing with both Busch and Denny Hamlin’s Toyotas in the garage with problems before the halfway mark of 80 laps.
  

On the restart on Lap 63, Montoya took the lead again with Martin in tow. Vickers was next in front of Biffle. Johnson and Stewart followed with Earnhardt behind them. Reutimann was eighth, Kahne nine and Gordon 10th.
   

On Lap 70, former Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish, Jr. got sideways and banged the Turn 4 wall, ruining his chances for the day.
  

At halfway, 80 laps (200 miles), it was Montoya, Martin, Vickers, Johnson, Stewart, Biffle, Earnhardt, Reutimann, Kahne and Gordon in the top 10.
 

Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick were next at the time.


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Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.

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