Throwback to a Monstrous Win
Today, we take a little trip down memory lane with a throwback Thursday to one of our favorite wins, the 2009 Autism Speaks 400 at Dover.
Driving what he would call a “very special racecar,” Johnson was putting on a clinic at the Monster Mile…that is until a late race caution that flew with 38 laps to go. Crew Chief Chad Knaus called the Johnson in from the lead for four tires, and when a number of others took two tires and the No. 48 had an uncharacteristically slow stop, Jimmie found himself in ninth. Making matters worse, it was the final race under the old restart format, which placed lead lap cars on the outside line, and lap down cars on the inside. So Johnson was essentially restarting in 18th and had some serious work to do as the sand in the hourglass worked against him.
As Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart battled at the front with their two fresh tires each, Johnson took to the high line and sailed around some fast competition in short order. With eight laps to go, Johnson had caught the lead duo as Stewart cleared Biffle. Johnson spent the next six laps stalking Stewart, searching for a way past. Finally, coming to two laps to go, Johnson ambitiously went higher than anyone had gone before and motored around Stewart to the roar of the crowd, who knew well the mastery they were witnessing.
As a jubilant Johnson crossed the line, he radioed to his crew, “WOOOOOOO! You guys make coming to work fun! Thank you!”
Knaus was quick to respond, “Jimmie, thank you for saving my butt today, bud. You bailed us out big time.”
All told, Johnson led 298 laps, a career high to this day at Dover. The win was Team Lowe’s Racing’s fourth at Dover, and their first since 2005. It was the first leg of a season sweep of the Monster Mile that year. It also marked the dawn of driver No. 48’s domination in the ‘First State’ as Jimmie and crew have won a race at Dover every year since, except for 2011.
Can Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe’s continue the streak in 2016? Can they repeat their 2009 sweep? A good place to start would be with a win this weekend. Tune in to FOX Sports 1 at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday and see if JJ can take his yellow No. 48’s back to victory lane at Dover.