Johnson Finally Kisses the Yard of Bricks
Topics: Allstate 400, Jimmie Johnson
August 8, 2006
Johnson, had fallen at the 38th lap when he blew a tire only 39 laps into the 160-lap event, the question that fell to Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus’ head was to stay out and hope track position gets a little credit for the team, or go to pits and try to drive the mess out with fresh new tires? The answer came to us all after when he drove into the pits and proceeded to change his four tires on the final restart of the day and then used that brand new set of wheels to pass seven cars. We all know what happened then, the celebration and the kissing of the famous yard of bricks.
The first laps Johnson ever led at Indy could be called critical. The end of the concern came when he led the last 18 laps before finishing the race. With 16 laps to go once the race restarted, Johnson and Co. would soon find out whether the tires were, indeed, worth more than track position. Back on the track Matt Kenseth and Johnson passed most of the lapped cars, with only Busch, Junior and Bowyer able to take advantage of track position to stay out front. But their moment was going to be shorter than they thought. Not even a lap after Junior managed to get by Busch to take the lead amid a roar of approval from the fans, Johnson made the official race-winning pass.
When a left-front tire goes down, what usually happens is that the fender gets severely torn up. That was what Harvick assumed had happened to Johnson. He also assumed he wouldn't see much out of the 48 the rest of the day. Imagine how shocked him and the 48 squad were when they discovered that the blown out tire didn't mess up the fender more. And he was thankful that a caution flag soon after saved him from falling off the lead lap when the tire did go down.
He was a strong contender for the title the past two seasons and every year his plans came were ruined at Indy. A 36th-place finish in 2004 knocked him from his perch atop the standings and he watched Kurt Busch win the title. A 38th-place finish last year preceded a decline to fifth as Tony Stewart, last year's Indy winner, claimed the championship. This year the team leaves with more momentum than it's had at any other point this season.
About the Author Ally White is a top senior copy writer on sportsbook action for Instant Action Sports. Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety on your site, make sure to leave all links in place and do not modify any of the content.
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