Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

So Bristol was Toyota's Joe Gibbs' men versus Rick Hendrick's Chevy guys...but Jimmie Johnson was the big winner


Jimmie Johnson gets a big A on his Bristol homework assignment (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern

   BRISTOL, Tenn.
   No, Jeff Gordon didn't snap that long winless streak, but he was quite pleased with his fourth-place finish in Sunday's Bristol 500, which keeps him atop the NASCAR standings heading this week to Martinsville.
   "I wish the chase was right now, because we are in championship form," Gordon said after his third top-five and fourth top-10 of the season. He's 76 points ahead of Kurt Busch, 79 ahead of Clint Bowyer, and 85 ahead of Kyle Busch.
   However the day's key winner, though he didn't make it to victory circle, was teammate Jimmie Johnson, who may finally have figured out how to run this high-banked half-mile.
   "We needed a weekend like this," Johnson, third to winner Kyle Busch, said.
   "It started two weeks ago when we went to work on the setup for this race. We created a plan, stuck to it. 
   "Off the truck the car was quick; we were right on par with everybody…and had confidence going into qualifying (third fastest).
    "The weekend just kept building.  
     "So now that we've executed -- from qualifying to the race -- we have a very good starting point to come back with. 
     "And that's something we haven't had.  Every time we've come back, we've been chasing one of our teammates' ideas, then trying to put my setup under it. 
    "We really didn't know just what we wanted.  
     "This weekend we didn't play that game. We stuck to our guns."
    In fact down the stretch Johnson wasn't really that worried about trying to challenge Busch for the win (even though Johnson did lead 88 laps during the day):  "I knew he was coming. But my deal wasn't to race Kyle. And even when Denny (Hamlin) got to me, I let him go. 
    "I knew I had a top-three, or top-five car. I just wanted to finish this race. I wanted to see all 500 miles. 
    "If it was to come down to the last pit stop, and I had a shot at it, then I could throw caution to the wind. 
    "Up until then, I needed to figure out how to run 500 laps here and finish up front. That was my goal -- and we did it."


Jeff Gordon: already thinking championship (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com