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Jimmie Johnson pulls out another Indianapolis victory down the stretch, and takes second in the Sprint Cup standings

  Jimmie Johnson, after holding off teammate Mark Martin (Photo: IMS)


   By Mike Mulhern


Juan Pablo Montoya….
   What a heartbreaker.
   But don't expect winner Jimmie Johnson to offer much consolation, because the Brickyard 400 is such a plum. And Johnson himself has been caught for speeding on pit road so many times this year that he's a little gunshy right now.
   "I didn't run around him all day long, so I don't have a clue about how we could have done with him…" Johnson said about the dominant Montoya after his third Brickyard victory.
   "But I do know I have the trophy."
   Car owner Rick Hendrick himself has seven of these Indianapolis Motor Speedway trophies now.
   But Hendrick says he's still in awe of the history of this place:  "This is like sacred ground….and I never thought I'd ever go to a race here, much less win one," Hendrick said.
   "I still get goose bumps when I'm here."
   There's interesting history here – seven of the last 11 winners of this race have gone on to win the NASCAR championship.
    Teammate Mark Martin was Johnson's only challenger over the last 60 miles. And Johnson had his hands full, before pulling out the three-length win.
   "Mark is such an inspiration to all of us," Johnson said of the newest member of Hendrick Motorsports. "He's just nonstop. I'm really proud to call him a friend. He's one unique individual."
    Martin himself lost the race when Johnson managed to pull off an outside pass on the final restart, a rather difficult feature here.
   But Martin was still smiling at the end of the day: "It's been my day this year, all year.  I'd love to have won the race.  But I'm very grateful to have had a chance at it.
    "I got beat.  I didn't get 'er done.  But I gave it my heart. So did my race team.  I'm grateful for it.
    "I was beating Jimmie pretty bad off turn two. But he was beating me pretty bad off four.  I was going to have to make it happen off two.  I made some great runs.  But I really thought several times I was going to hit the wall over there.
    "I absolutely could not go any faster. In fact, I can't believe I didn't. The third to the last lap, the last lap, both, I went through there beyond my good judgment to get those runs.  It just wasn't enough."
   So that last restart, on lap 137 of the 160?
   Martin had the lead for that green.
    "I got a reasonable start, and was really looking optimistic," Martin said. "But I never got quite clear him on the straightaway.
    "Then he got the side-draft and pulled him completely up beside me. 
     "I just didn't manage to get a good enough jump.  I tried to get a good one, and it was good…but I needed another three feet to clear him. 
     "If I'd have done that, the race would have been on. 
      "But I still might not have been able to stay in front of him for a few laps.  His car was better early, and mine was better later in runs."
     After two days of practice, Martin, who won the pole, said he figured the 400 would come down to Montoya, Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart. And he was pretty close.
    Goodyear's 14,000 miles of testing for this event certainly paid off.
    Martin said "This tire was very consistent through the run. The track was very consistent. And the balance didn't change on the cars very much. 
    "So pretty much what you had when you started, if you were good, you were going to be good.  And if you were not good, it was probably going to be a challenge to get real good on the pit stop."






How do you say "robbed" in Colombian?


robado? i think it was a weak

i think it was a weak call.....no safety issues involved....just 'stinking up the show'

This season is just a Hendrick parade

So.. Ahh.. when was the last non Hendrick car (That includes tony, and Brad K.) to win a full (non rain shortened) race??

This gets old.. Lot like WWE.. scripted

uh, yeah....mon: good point.

uh, yeah....mon: good point. let's see Hendrick-powered drivers have won 11 of the last 14 Cup events. David Reutimann won the rain-shortened 600; Joey Logano won rain-shortened Loudon; and Kasey Kahne won the full-distance Sonoma race. I like Jimmie and the guys, but a Montoya win at Indianapolis would have been a much bigger story.

J J wins, yawn

No doubt Jimmy Johnson is a talented driver. No doubt that Hendricks Motorsports produces the most technologically advanced cars on the NASCAR circuit.

Jimmy Johnson is probably a fine fellow.

But the fact is, seeing him win a race is about as exciting a watching paint dry - or kissing your brother.

It just doesn't do a thing for me.

Sorry Jimmy, you come across as a cold fish.

MR Hendricks

Could someone please explain to me why a vast majority of the NASCAR community refers/defers to Rick Hendrick as MR HENDRICK?

No one calls Richard, MR. Petty. Few if any call Richard Childress, MR Childrss. Last week, I heard Mikey Waltrip refer to Rick and MR HENDRICK.

Give me a break Mikey, you are a car owner, Rick is a car owner. Are you both not somewhat equals? So you mess a few less millions a year than Rick, you sure are not among us common folk.

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