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Johnson dominates at Daytona

Sun., July 7, 2013

Sweeps both races at Daytona Beach, Fla., this season; first driver to do so in 31 years

Jimmie Johnson became the first driver in 31 years to sweep Daytona International Speedway, accomplishing the feat with a dominating run Saturday night for his fourth win of the season.

The Daytona 500 winner is the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982, and the fifth overall, to win both races in a season at Daytona.

“I don’t think I made a bad move tonight. I’m pretty proud of that,” Johnson said. “To tie anything that Bobby did is really special. I’m very proud of that. I’ve going to take that home and savor it pretty well.”

The five-time NASCAR champion was the leader on the restart for a two-lap sprint to the finish in overtime Saturday night. He held off Kevin Harvick on the restart, and then pulled out front to a sizeable lead. Tony Stewart moved into second and may have been timing his attempt to make a pass for the lead when a caution in the middle of the pack froze the field.

Stewart was second, followed by Kevin Harvick in a Chevrolet sweep.

Clint Bowyer was fourth and team co-owner Michael Waltrip fifth in a pair of Toyotas. Then came Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as Chevrolets took six of the top eight spots and seven of the top 10.

Casey Mears was ninth in a Ford, followed by Ryan Newman.

The race was stopped for almost nine minutes for a six-car accident with 11 laps remaining that included yet another vicious hit for Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin’s car inexplicably turned right and spun hard into the front-stretch wall. It then turned back into traffic and Hamlin was tagged hard by AJ Allmendinger in a hit that caused his car to lift off the ground.

Both he and Allmendinger had to collect themselves after climbing from their wrecked cars, but both were evaluated and released from the infield care center.

Also involved in the late accident were Matt Kenseth, Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, and Jeff Gordon.

“I saw the wreck and tried to slow down and miss it, but just not much I could do,” Kenseth said.

The race resumed with seven laps remaining and Johnson leading teammate Kasey Kahne. Johnson then made a strange move to the high line to block Marcos Ambrose and it might have cost him the race as it put Kahne out front in the bottom lane of traffic.

But as the two Hendrick drivers drag-raced around Daytona, Ambrose clipped the side of Johnson as he attempted a sudden lane change.

He slammed into the side of Kahne, causing Kahne to spin and hit an inside retaining wall for another caution with five laps remaining.

Marco Andretti wins pole

Marco Andretti hit a two-lap average speed of 221.273 mph to take the top spot for the first IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Lake Pond, Pa., since 1989.

He broke a track record that had been held by Emerson Fittipaldi’s two-lap average speed of 211.715 in 1989.

Ryan Hunter-Reay starts second and James Hinchcliffe is third.

Hamilton takes F1 pole

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes earned the pole position for today’s German Grand Prix, edging Red Bull’s three-time defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel in Nuerburgring, Germany.

Hamilton’s second consecutive pole and third of the season made up for the disappointment of seeing the second Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg knocked down to 11th at the end of the second qualifying session.Marc Webber in the second Red Bull car was third.

Pit stops

Lucas Luhr survived an early battle with Chris Dyson to help score the third consecutive American Le Mans Series victory for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing and co-driver Klaus Graf in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. … Carlos Munoz dominated at Pocono Raceway to win his third Indy Lights series race of the season and jump into the points lead.

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