2008 All State 400 Review – Jimmie Johnson Wins

2008 All State 400 Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com

So that had to be the most bizarre Indy race I’ve ever seen. In fact, most are renaming the race the Yellow Flag 400. It was pretty ridiculous. I am extremely disappointed in NASCAR and Goodyear for making such a prestigious race turn into a series of heat races, but the drivers were more forgiving, just happy that NASCAR took the steps necessary to maintain a safe race for everyone involved.

Just to put this into perspective, though, 32% of the race was run under cautions. There were a total of 11 caution periods, most of which were competition yellows from NASCAR to evaluate tire wear. As it turns out, the longest green run was a mere 13 laps. The reason this happened was because NASCAR officials and Goodyear both thought that rubber would lay down on the track as the race progressed, allowing for less wear and longer runs, but that never happened.

There was tire debris everywhereand I mean everywhere. If you watched the drivers get out of the cars, rubber was hitting the ground. There were tire remnants inside the cars too. Goodyear never anticipated this kind if disintegration. As disappointed as the drivers were, there was really no alternative to running this race. There were cords showing on some guys’ tires after only 5 laps. Tires were blowing out after 8 lap runs.

Matt Kenseth is probably the one most disappointed. He dropped 3 spots in the points because of tire problems where he basically lost the right side of his car and had to take it to the garage after only 47 laps. Michael Waltrip caused the first caution on lap 4 with a blown tire, spinning up into the outside wall. Kurt Busch also saw his share of problems with a blown tire, taking out Kevin Harvick in the wreck knocking him out of the points Chase.


I think that had we had a better tire compound, this would’ve been one of the best races of the years. At the end, there was a 7 lap shootout where Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards fought all the way around the track, leaving Johnson victorious and Edwards disappointed for himself and also the fans. It was clear that the cars were good enough and the drivers were dicey enough, but the tires just wouldn’t hold out. The Hendrick cars ran very strong all day. Although Jr. went a lap down because of a tire issue early, he came back and finished a respectable 12th. Gordon finished 5th with a very strong car, but never able to get back to the front with Johnson and Edwards. Johnson’s pit stall position really helped him out. Edwards believes that he would’ve had a shot at winning if he had Johnson’s pit stall.

When it comes down to it, we’re putting a brand new car on a track it’s never seen before. In addition, we’re adding a tire with a compound that’s never been raced here before without any amount of extensive testing. The testing that was performed was showing cords after 5 laps as well. So basically, Goodyear and NASCAR knew there was an issue but proceeded to race regardless, hoping the problem would solve itself during the race. In my opinion, we’re going to need some serious testing time here to solve this issue. I think it was inappropriate of NASCAR to allow one of the 2 biggest races of the year to run this way, knowing in advance that there was such a serious problem. Kudos for concern of driver safety, but the race itself was pretty bad for the fans and for most drivers.

The top ten finishers for Sunday’s Allstate 400 were:

1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Carl Edwards
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Elliot Sadler
5. Jeff Gordon
6. Jamie McMurray
7. Kasey Kahne
8. Greg Biffle
9. Jeff Burton
10. A.J. Allmendinger.

All in all, the finishers are not a good depiction of what a typical top 10 from this race would look like. But I guess you have to deal with what NASCAR gives you, even if it is a really bad tire compound. There was a little bit of change in the points also. Here are your current top 12:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3. Jeff Burton
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Carl Edwards
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Greg Biffle
8. Denny Hamlin
9. Kasey Kahne
10. Tony Stewart
11. Matt Kenseth
12. Clint Bowyer.

Kevin Harvick has been bumped again from the top 12. David Ragan is right behind him in 14th and itching for a spot in the Chase after only 2 years in the Cup series. There are only 5 more races left before we lock in the top 12. This Sunday, we’re headed back to another big track that we’ve seen this year. Pocono is going to be a good race. These drivers are getting desperate, and will do almost anything at this point to get them a top spot in that coveted Chase.