2009 Autism Speaks 400 Review – Jimmie Johnson Wins!

2009 Autism 400 Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com

He’s bacccck. Those of you who thought Jimmie Johnson was fading away, think again. Johnson proved he’s back in dominating form after taking the checkers at Dover on Sunday. While some drivers got stuck a lap or more down because of pit strategy and bad luck, Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson did what they do best, and that is dominating the strategy game and staying out front. This pair is unstoppable and I dare to say that they are simply the best combination in the garage.

Johnson clearly had the best car. He led 298 of 400 laps and passed Tony Stewart with 2 laps to go for the lead. His lead coming to the checkers was nearly a full second. That’s saying something when you only have 2 laps to pass someone and pull away. Johnson proved that he still has what it takes to win races and to win championships after winning his fourth race at Dover and his second of the season.


Tony Stewart is really holding his own as well. Stewart may have come in second, but he moved up to first in points. I think that this second-place gig is getting a little old to Stewart. He may have won the All-Star, but winning a points race is what he needs to do. Obviously he’s doing something right, though, if he’s first in points in his first year as an owner-driver. Stewart did a darn good job at blocking Johnson as long as he could and did it as cleanly as you could but even he knew that you can’t stop a train. That’s what he compared Johnson too, a freight-train.

For those Jr. fans out there, I think that his new crew chief, Lance McGrew, did a heck of a job. There were no major pit stop mistakes, getting him out in 3rd place on lap 237, and Jr. had a pretty good car until the end. Unfortunately, Jr. developed a tight-handling to loose-handling car late in the race causing him to fade to twelfth. No offense, but I think he’ll take it based on where he’s been running lately.

Some of the notable cautions included Denny Hamlin hitting the wall on lap 231, bringing out the fifth caution of the day. There was also a wreck involving Paul Menard and Robby Gordon on lap 286. David Stremme brought out the tenth caution of the afternoon after smacking the wall hard down the front stretch on lap 374.

He are your top 10 finishers from Sunday’s race:

1. Jimmie Johnson *Winner
2. Tony Stewart
3. Greg Biffle
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Kurt Busch
6. Kasey Kahne
7. Carl Edwards
8. Ryan Newman
9. Casey Mears
10. Mark Martin

My pick, Carl Edwards, was strong and consistent, but consistently hovered around 7th all day. He never had anything for Johnson, but nevertheless made a strong top 10 finish.

There were a few changes in the points standings. Here are your current top 12 in the points:

1. Tony Stewart
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Kurt Busch
5. Ryan Newman
6. Kyle Busch
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Matt Kenseth
9. Greg Biffle
10. Jeff Burton
11. Carl Edwards
12. Mark Martin

Stewart has a 46 point lead over now 2nd place Jeff Gordon, who has had the top of the standings for almost every race. Jr. moved up a spot to 18th and needs to continue this streak. Jr. liked his first run with the new crew chief, so we will see how things go from here.

This weekend we are headed to a place that is not a favorite of Jr. but is a favorite drivers like Edwards, Hamlin, and Johnson who have multiple wins here. Stayed tuned this Sunday for another great weekend of NASCAR racing!