- Malaysia Airlines pilots sometimes left cockpit door unlocked: U.S. businessman
- PHILLIPS: The benefits of defying ‘common wisdom’
- Judge strikes down Arkansas abortion law — nation’s toughest — as unconstitutional
- Court: Tenn. must recognize 3 same-sex marriages
- Russia claims to have downed U.S. drone over Crimea region; Pentagon denies
- John Daly shoots 90 at PGA Tour event: ‘I’m falling apart’
- Police: Man arrested in West Virginia may be linked to Alexandria killings
- Smile: Equipping cops with body-mounted cameras gains steam in Calif., N.Y.
- Obama to sign bill cutting taxpayer money for party conventions
- Half of Americans worried about second Cold War: poll
Earnhardt leaves Brickyard with Cup points lead
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Jimmie Johnson won his fourth Brickyard 400 and solidified his status as a title favorite in NASCAR.
Impressive? You bet.
Surprising? Not really.
Earnhardt finished fourth on Sunday, his best career finish at a track where he often struggles. Earnhardt took a 14-point lead over previous points leader Matt Kenseth, who got caught in a crash. It was another sign of Earnhardt’s new consistency, the kind of development that could turn the streaky driver with a famous last name into a real championship contender.
“That is symbolic of how well we’ve done,” Earnhardt said. “I’m proud of that. I have felt that way about our position in points all season long. We need to win more races. If we want to win the championship, we have to. I imagine we can win a couple races in Chase. I don’t know if finishing fourth or fifth is going to do it. We’ll just have to see. We’d like to step it up just a little bit more.”
“We would actually rather us two to fight for the championship at the end knowing one of us is going to get it for the company,” Earnhardt said. “If I could line that up right now, I would. That is how I’d have it.”
“It’s great,” Johnson said. “What it does especially for our company, it far exceeds any type of competitive spirit that exists. And from a technical standpoint, we all go to the racetrack with the same equipment. No one gets favorites.”
Hendrick has been through it before, and doesn’t expect any issues.
“And these guys are sharing so much information, and I’m beyond that nervousness trying to get the teams together and say, `Look, what got us here is working together and sharing information,’” Hendrick said. “I think by having those two cars where they are in the points will make us, give us a better shot. … A lot of organizations, it tears them down when they have that kind of competition. I think it makes us stronger.”
All four Hendrick Motorsports teams share technical information, but Hendrick has divided them into pairs. Johnson’s No. 48 team and Earnhardt’s No. 88 team work together in one shop, while Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 team and Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 team work in another.
“Stevie and Junior have really brought a lot to the table,” Johnson said. “I have to say, from Pocono to now, the stuff that Junior has liked in the car and what he’s felt has opened up doors for us to pursue and a road for us to go down where we’ve made our stuff better. There’s a lot of confidence in our shop with both teams, and the communication is as good as it’s ever been.”
By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
- CURL: We completely overhauled American health care to insure 4.2 million people?
- California gun store owner refuses to hand over customer list
- Bill Maher: God a 'psychotic mass murderer' who 'drowns babies'
- Firefighters discover church's Bible in Harlem rubble following gas explosion
- Crimea votes in favor of secession, U.S. rejects
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- Trust me: Obama promises new overtime rules will be 'easier for everyone'
- McCaul offers scenario where missing Malaysian jet lands in hostile country to be use as missile
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014