Jimmie Johnson’s Lead Shrinks as Part Confiscated
Jimmie Johnson saw his lead over Denny Hamlin shrink to 6 Points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings following Hamlinâ€™s win in the Tums Fast Relief 50 at Martinsville Sunday.
That lead may vanish altogether by Tuesday if NASCAR issues a penalty for a part that was confiscated from the No. 48 Chevrolet before the race started.
Dale Earnhardt Jr led 90 laps in todayâ€™s race after starting from the 28th position. Juniorâ€™s No. 88 was just tight enough to make it fast and he rocketed through the field to the lead.
No. 48 crew chief Chad Knaus saw how fast Junior was coming. H e radioed to Jimmie Johnson â€œif you hear a great scream and roar youâ€™ll know that Dale took the leadâ€ as Earnhardt closed in on the top spot.
As the field closed in on lap 300 that roar happened as Earnhardt passed Jeff Gordon for the lead.
For 90 laps Earnhardt Nation cheered on their driver. But when Dale made a pit stop the adjustments made the car too tight and it would no longer turn in the corners. Earnhardt fell back to finish 7th.
Gordon turned by Busch
Jeff Gordon was a little too aggressive when he made contact as he passed Kurt Busch on lap 385. Busch immediately returned the favor and put Gordon into the inside retaining wall. I donâ€™t think the payback fit the crime. Do you?
Trouble between teammates
Richard Childress Racing teammates Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick had a little dust-up for several laps as both drivers complained that the other was bumping and banging them.
Part Confiscated from No. 48
Prior to the race NASCAR confiscated a drive shaft cover from the No. 48 Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson. The part is headed back to NASCARâ€™s Research & Development in Charlotte.
If the part is found illegal will they issue a penalty or let it slide? A drive shaft cover seems like a pretty insignificant part as far as a competitive advantage goes. But remember that Clint Bowyer was docked 100 Championship Points a few weeks ago for an height infraction that amounted to about the thickness of a quarter.
That penalty cost Bowyer the lead in the Championship standings. Will Jimmie Johnson get the same call?
In the media center after the race Johnson pleaded ignorance about the part in question. â€œI don’t know what you’re speaking about, to be honest with you. Is this before or after, Johnson asked. When told it was a pre-race issue Johnson responded: â€œI don’t have a clue. Not my job, man, as Juan would say. â€œ
Weâ€™ll see what NASCAR has to say.
Mark Martin went 2 laps down early in the race after a crash into the outside wall. Martin rebounded to finish 2nd in a wrecked race car. â€œReally a great time, great recovery from two laps down,â€ said Martin.
â€œThat last hundred laps was fun. I’ve had guys pass me and I wondered how in the world they did that. Now I see how. What an incredible race car that Alan Gustafson and everyone gave me.â€
As always your comments and opinions are welcome. What was your take on the race?