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Johnson extends Dover dominance
DOVER, Del. — Jimmie Johnson dominated again and won for the seventh time at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.
Johnson matched Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for most career victories on the 1-mile concrete track. Johnson also stretched the Hendrick Motorsports’ winning streak to three. Johnson won at Darlington Raceway, and Kasey Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600.
Johnson also won the non-points All-Star race during that span as the No. 48 Chevrolet is heating up as he chases a sixth Sprint Cup championship.
Johnson won his second race of the season. He celebrated in victory lane wearing a multicolored circus wig as part of a sponsorship promotion for a movie.
“You whipped ‘em today,” crew chief Chad Knaus said over the radio.
No active driver owns the track like Johnson. He led 289 of the 400 laps and looked every bit like the driver who swept the two Cup races at Dover in 2002 and 2009. Johnson last won at Dover on Sept. 26, 2010.
“God, I love this place,” Johnson said as he took a victory spin.
Johnson’s win came about 390 miles after a massive 13-car accident that took out defending Cup champion Tony Stewart. He eventually returned and finished 25th.
Jeff Gordon, Johnson’s teammate, had perhaps the car of the race until a wheel issue knocked him down to 13th. Gordon said after the finish that he had the car to beat.
Maybe. But Johnson had the win.
Fellow Hendrick driver Earnhardt ran up front most of the race and posted his fifth top-five of the season. His losing streak stretched to 142 races, but he has only one finish outside the top 10 in his past nine races.
“I can’t complain too much about how we’re doing,” he said.
Kahne followed his victory with a ninth-place finish to round out another stellar race for Hendrick.
By Tammy Bruce
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