Oct 28 2007

Jimmie Johnson Wins Eigth Race of Season, Closes Gap on Gordon

Jimmie Johnson wins in Atlanta
This was one of those races that didn’t finish anything like the rest of the race, Johnson and Gordon struggles with their cars most of the day, working on them and working on them, and Jimmie and Chad decide to take two tires near the end of the race to come out upfront and steal the race from Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who had trouble on a restart when Denny Hamlin ran out of gas and Martin Truex plowed him from behind.

Tony Stewart had trouble, Kyle Busch, who led 98 laps, had trouble in the pits and ended up finishing 17th, Martin Truex led the most laps, 135, Jimmie Johnson only led the last 8 laps, Denny Hamlin was the only lead lap car to stay out and not pit near the end and he and Truex paid for it.

One of the good things about Johnson winning was that he donated his winnings to the victims of the fires burning in California, but that’s not all, Lowe’s said they would match, the folks at Atlanta Speedway said they would match it, and Rick Hendrick is matching it as well. This should be a nice big check for those victims, in the article quoted below, the article said they were donating their $349,561 in winnings, but I wasn’t clear on if that was the combined or winnings for each. Either way, it’s nice that big stars like Jimmie care about where they grew up or lived at one time.

Here are how the points standings are now:

1. — Jeff Gordon 6201 Leader
2. — Jimmie Johnson 6192 -9
3. — Clint Bowyer 6090 -111
4. +1 Carl Edwards 5940 -261
5. -1 Tony Stewart 5879 -322
6. — Kyle Busch 5873 -328
7. — Kevin Harvick 5809 -392
8. +1 Jeff Burton 5801 -400
9. +1 Kurt Busch 5782 -419
10. -2 Denny Hamlin 5777 -424
11. +1 Matt Kenseth 5753 -448
12. -1 Martin Truex Jr. 5688 -513

Johnson and Gordon, who came into the Pep Boys Auto 500 separated by 53 points, both struggled with the handling on their Chevrolets most of the day. But, thanks to a wild finish, they wound up first and seventh, leaving four-time champion Gordon with a nine-point lead with three of the 10 Chase races remaining.

“I just think it’s going to be a fight to the end,” Johnson said. “We took a good bite out of Jeff’s points lead [Sunday] and it’s going to come down to a position or two in the next three.

Gordon, who saw his lead almost disappear, said the pressure is on even more heading into next Sunday’s race at Texas.

“I feel like we’ve got the team and the equipment to do it, but those guys are tough and they’re showing it every weekend,” Gordon said. “All I’m focusing right now is trying not to have the bad day and, for a while, it looked like [Sunday] was going to be the bad day.

“We struggled there for a while and, to come back and finish seventh, it was a great day, even though Jimmie won.” Source: Johnson wins at Atlanta, closes gap again to Gordon

Here is how they finished:

1 6 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools 190/5 329 Running
2 16 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 170/0 329 Running
3 32 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target / Breast Cancer Awareness 165/0 329 Running
4 17 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT NANO Technology 160/0 329 Running
5 28 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 155/0 329 Running
6 26 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s 150/0 329 Running
7 8 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Nicorette Cinnamon Surge / DuPont 146/0 329 Running
8 2 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 147/5 329 Running
9 4 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 143/5 329 Running
10 14 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 134/0 329 Running
11 24 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 130/0 329 Running
12 15 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC 127/0 329 Running
13 39 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil 129/5 329 Running
14 10 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 121/0 329 Running
15 34 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 123/5 329 Running
16 31 84 A.J. Allmendinger * Toyota Red Bull 120/5 329 Running
17 38 88 Ricky Rudd Ford Snickers Halloween 112/0 329 Running
18 43 21 Bill Elliott Ford Little Debbie 109/0 329 Running
19 3 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota The UPS Store / Toys for Tots 106/0 329 Running
20 19 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet CARQUEST / Kellogg’s 108/5 329 Running
21 33 7 Robby Gordon Ford Jim Beam 100/0 328 Running
22 1 16 Greg Biffle Ford Lumber Liquidators 102/5 328 Running
23 40 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV 94/0 328 Running
24 18 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Express 96/5 328 Off Track
25 5 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 88/0 327 Off Track
26 25 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 85/0 327 Running
27 36 15 Paul Menard * Chevrolet Johns Manville / Menards 87/5 327 Running
28 29 49 John Andretti Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 79/0 327 Running
29 27 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Sears Auto Center / Valvoline / Stanley 76/0 327 Running
30 30 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 73/0 323 Running
31 20 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 80/10 322 Off Track
32 35 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Radioactive Energy Drink 67/0 321 Running
33 37 6 David Ragan * Ford AAA 64/0 320 Running
34 21 42 Juan Montoya * Dodge Texaco / Havoline 61/0 283 Running
35 22 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 58/0 275 Running
36 23 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 55/0 268 Running
37 9 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Mobil 1 52/0 267 Running
38 42 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 49/0 263 Running
39 7 40 David Stremme Dodge Coors Light / St. Jude Hospital 46/0 250 Off Track
40 41 66 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Best Buy 43/0 250 Off Track
41 11 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 40/0 238 Running
42 13 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M’s Halloween 37/0 64 Out of Race
43 12 01 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 34/0 64 Out of Race

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