After his tenth place finish at Richmond on Saturday night, Jimmie Johnson has ?slipped? all the way down to second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup points! It seems some are already beginning to panic. There?s talk all over the internet this morning that Johnson?s string of championships is over! It?s only May, he?s only 10 points behind, and they?re writing Jimmie off already!
Speaking of Richmond, they announced a crowd of about 83,000 folks. The ¾ mile track that once recorded 29 consecutive sellouts has removed some grandstands and widened the seats in others, reducing the official seating to 97,912. This is becoming a trend among NASCAR tracks as more and more tracks have taken the same or similar actions to combat reduced fan attendance.
The biggest mover in the NASCAR Sprint Cup points after Richmond is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. but unfortunately he is moving in the wrong direction. He dropped five spots to 13th! Mark Martin also dropped, but only four spots to 10th, while Jeff Gordon moved up 4 places into sixth. Kevin Harvick?s third place finish Saturday night gave him a slight, ten point lead over second place Jimmie Johnson.
Clay Rogers dominated Saturday night?s WIX Filters 250, at Hickory Motor Speedway, leading three times for 222 laps, but an engine problem with 14 laps remaining sent the 29-year-old North Carolinian to the garage and Virginia?s Caleb Holman to victory lane for his second straight win in the USARacing Pro Cup Series.
Holman, from Abingdon, Va., has now won two of the season?s first three USAR Pro Cup races. He snapped a 17-race winless streak two weeks ago at New Smyrna [Fla.] Speedway, while Rogers won the season opener at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga.
Sometimes it really is better to be lucky than good. Warren Johnson, the winningest driver in NHRA Pro Stock history, hadn?t been to a final round in almost three years, 2007 in Atlanta, and hadn?t been to the winner?s circle in more than four, 2006 in Phoenix, worked his way to the final round in St. Louis this weekend in an unlikely fashion. After beating Ron Krisher in a rare for Johnson holeshot, he then bested a troubled Alan Johnson in round two.
In the semi-final Johnson lined up next to the sports most dominant driver right now, Mike Edwards. Edwards, who earlier had set low E.T. of the race with a 6.62, could not get the car to fire and Johnson soloed his way into the final round where he would face Jeg Coughlin, who was looking for his landmark 50th race win. Coughlin?s car broke a rocker arm at the hit of the throttle and Johnson cruised to the 97th win of his long career.
?Everybody I raced did something wrong and I was just cruising,? said Johnson, ?I?ve had a few strokes of luck once in a while before but never three times in a row. That?s phenomenal. I guess I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning.?
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