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Chevy Continues Domination Of Nextel Cup Series

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Chevrolet, Nextel Cup

Chevy Continues Domination Of Nextel Cup Series

Anthony Fontanelle
May 9, 2007

With the tenth race of the Nextel Cup Series already in the books, Chevy has shown once again that they are dominating this season. Out of the ten races that has just transpired, Chevy cars have won nine of them including the recently concluded Jimmy Stewart 400 which took place at the Richmond International Speedway in Richmond, Virginia. The said race was postponed due to heavy rains and was rescheduled last Saturday night. After 400 laps or 300 miles of racing, a Chevy car driven by defending champion Jimmie Johnson emerged as the winner. This is the fourth race this season wherein Johnson won a race on his No. 48 Lowe’s Impala SS.

Speaking after the race, Johnson expressed his feelings on his victory at the event. “This means the world to me to win here,” says Johnson. “We haven't been that strong here. It reminds me a lot of Indy last year where we came back and we were able to beat a track that's tough on us. I think this car has been an opportunity for myself and for the team to kind of learn the right setup; feeling the right the rhythm at this track.”

This chemistry between Johnson and his engineers has led to another good showing for the champion. From the start to the finish of the race, Johnson showed why he is the man to beat this season. He took control of the top spot with 20 laps to go and never relinquished that lead until lap number 400. After the race, Johnson also expressed his feelings about the recent shootings at Virginia Tech. “I feel honored to win this race here in Virginia. Obviously what took place, no one could ever describe. It's just so sad, I don't even know where to start,” says Johnson. “I didn't go to school there, have a lot of close friends that did, great people that work at Hendrick Motorsports that have and certainly want to dedicate this win to them.”

The dominance of the Chevy Impala SS this season is evident in the fact that following Johnson are three Chevy Impalas. The second place was taken by Johnson’s teammate Kyle Busch on his No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Impala SS. Speaking after the race, Busch summed up his car’s performance in the recently concluded race. “That was a good run for our Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS,” says Busch. “You know we struggle in qualifying with these things but we seem to get it when the race turns around so we also want to thank all my sponsors and all the people that are behind us,” he added.

Busch also talked about his and Johnson’s performance during the race after the restart. “I think mine fell off a little bit and his got better, because we kind of gapped out,” Busch said. “Normally we could run together but the restart before I was a little bit better than he was and I got a good start and I got down in one and two and got a good jump on everybody but that last caution came out again. I think he would have caught us anyway. He was a little bit better overall than we were but it's still a good day for Hendrick Motorsports - one, two, four, I believe.”

Taking the third spot after the race is the No. 11 FedEx Express Impala SS driven by Denny Hamlin. The driver spoke about his performance after the race saying that: “We definitely had an up-and-down day but for the most part our car was pretty good.” He summed up his car’s performance for the race. “We were coming on there at the end and got caught behind a lot of cars,” Hamlin said. “It seemed like the fist couple of cars could clear and we just had a tough time running on the outside. For the most part I was happy about it. The FedEx Chevrolet was a winning car there at the end but we just didn't have the track position.” Hamlin also talked about the impact of the result of the race on the special campaign for his team. “FedEx Express Chevrolet was really good and I can't think of a better way to kick off the ‘Wear Your Heart on Your Helmet’ campaign for everyone at FedEx this year with the special paint scheme on our helmet. It's a great way to start off that campaign and the perfect way to keep our season going in the right direction and I'm very happy with our run.”

Finishing fourth on the said race is Jeff Gordon on his No. 24 DuPont Impala SS. After the race, he talked about his performance. “We've got to be proud of that,” says the fans’ favorite. “This has been one of our worst tracks. To come out here in the top five just tells you what kind of improvements we've made with the DuPont Chevrolet team. We had great track position and we were able to maintain that. That probably helped us out for the most part. At one time I thought we had the car to beat and then we made some adjustments trying to keep up with the changing conditions of the track and just lost it. I've got to congratulate Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. Those guys drove one heck of a race. We're so proud to have those guys at Hendrick Motorsports. I was trying so hard to get that one-two-three Hendrick finish but just couldn't pull it off. Denny Hamlin drove a great race as well. Congratulations to Jimmie and all those guys. We'll just take our top-five and move on from here,” says Gordon.

After the tenth race of the season, Chevy looks dominant as the race once again featured that the four top spots were occupied by Chevrolet cars. This shows that these cars are not only good looking as