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Johnson Wins Second Consecutive Allstate 400
Photos By Mark Rotor
Jimmie Johnson did not have had the fastest car at the Brickyard Sunday, but his Lowes Chevrolet was fastest when it counted the most-- the last 25 laps of the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard.
Johnson and the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet team cemented their place in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway history book July 26 by becoming the first team to win the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard twice in a row.
Not only did Johnson’s win make him the race’s first repeat winner, but he also has a three Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victories, one shy of event record holder and teammate Jeff Gordon, who finished ninth. Johnson’s first win on the daunting 2.5-mile IMS oval was in 2006.
Johnson ran behind race leader Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Martin until Montoya received a pass-through speeding penalty during a late race pit stop.
The start of the 16th Allstate at the Brickyard.
Photo By Dan Peters
That put Montoya back in the pack and another caution a few laps after a restart compounded things for the man who led 118 of the 160-lap distance. Starting from 12th, Montoya improved his position by one spot to finish 11th.
“To finish first, first you must finish,” shrugged the three-time defending champion. “I hate him for it. I know it is a story, Juan led so many laps. We come back and look at it two months from now, it’s going to be a `W’ next to my name on the stat sheet. That’s all that matters.”
The race was left for Martin, who took the lead shortly after the final restart with 25 laps to go. Johnson, however, had other ideas and zipped past his Hendrick Motorsports teammate a lap later and held Martin off to the end. It made it back to back wins for Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe's team, a first for this race.
Martin did not make it easy for Johnson at the end. He pulled from more than .7 of a second behind Johnson on Lap 154 to almost Johnson’s bumper as they took the white flag on Lap 160.
“I hope the fans enjoyed that race,” said Johnson. “I can’t say enough about this race team and all of Hendrick Motorsports and that battle with my teammate Mark Martin. Damn, he was fast. For an old guy. Those last 15 to 20 laps, man, we had to drive it so hard to stay ahead of the 5. I was better in (Turns) 3 and 4, and he was better in 1 and 2. It was kind of a give-and-take thing going on.”
The 43-car field didn't complete a lap before Robby Gordon spun in turn four. Elliott Sadler drove onto pit road while his crew searched for a possible oil leak. On the restart at Lap 3, Montoya put some daylight between himself and the field, signaling he might have the Chevrolet to beat on a beautiful summer day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After all, Montoya certainly knew the way to victory lane at this shrine, having won the Indianapolis 500 in a Chip Ganassi machine the only time he ran it back in 2000.
After a routine round of green flag pit stops between laps 40 and 45, Montoya still led with Martin second. Stewart was third.
NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader and two-time champion Tony Stewart finished third with Greg Biffle fourth. Brian Vickers was fifth in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota and Kevin Harvick was sixth. Kasey Kahne was seventh, David Reutimann was eighth, four-time champion Jeff Gordon finished ninth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 10. Montoya was 11th and rookie Joey Logano was 12th.
Photo By Dan Peters
Kyle Busch brought out a caution on Lap 58 and slammed into the outside wall. He drove his car into the garage area and parked it even though he had been running in the top 10. The day was looking pretty gloomy for Gibbs Racing with both Busch and Denny Hamlin's Toyotas in the garage with problems before the halfway mark of 80 laps.
“I thought it was loose on all that run (before the tire blew). It was sliding the right rear a little, but I got behind the 71 car (David Gilliland), a lapped car, and in trying to get around him, it built up a tight condition real bad. It vibrated for two laps and blew out. It's either our cars or the tires, I don't know which. I thought we had a decent run going. We were running seventh, but the guys in the pits got us up there.” Busch said. Busch’s crash was the most serious incident of the day.
On the restart on Lap 63, Montoya took the lead again with Martin in tow. Vickers was next in front of Biffle. Johnson and Stewart followed with Earnhardt behind them. Reutimann was eighth, Kahne nine and Gordon 10th.
On Lap 70, former Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish, Jr. got sideways and banged the Turn 4 wall, ruining his chances for the day.
“It was disappointing, for sure. We had a much better car here than we had here last year. We know we can run fast. We just need to get a little better track position, and the driver needs to be a little bit more patient. So we'll just do what we can to get ready to come back next year. Now we'll go on to Pocono. Obviously, Pocono handles a lot like this track does as far as what you need to have on the car, so I'm really looking forward to that.”Hornish said
Two-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Tony Stewart finished third in the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet, while Greg Biffle was fourth in the No. 16 3M/Pistonz Earplugs Ford. Brian Vickers was fifth in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota.
Photo By Dan Peters
“It was awesome. We had Hendrick motors and chassis one, two, and three. We are really proud of our guys on the Office Depot Old Spice team. We never could get the tightness out of the center of the car. Any time we made a change, it freed the entry up or the exit up. I’ll take a third any day. The guy I feel sorry for is Juan Pablo Montoya. He had an awesome car and was giving us a clinic today. Jimmie and Mark put up a great show, and it was awesome battle to watch from where I was sitting.” Said Stewart.
Biffle had a great day and best career finish at the Brickyard. “We had a really good car. The 3M/Pistonz Earplugs Ford Fusion was really good. We had to save fuel there at the end. We only lost one spot, but I had to let Tony Stewart go there at the end. I hated to do that. It’s hard for a race car driver to have a fast race car and lift on the gas. But that’s what we needed to do to finish.” Said Biffle
Montoya had a heartbreaking day, setting the pace for much of the race in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet. He took the lead from Martin on Lap 5 and lost the lead only twice during pit cycles until Lap 124, when he was penalized by NASCAR with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits. He dropped to 12th for the ensuing restart, fell to 15th a lap later and finished 11th.
Montoya’s dominance was similar to his 2000 Indianapolis 500 win, when he led 167 of that race’s 200 laps. At the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Montoya led three times for a race-high 116 laps, including a race record-setting 59 consecutive laps from Lap 34-92.
Dude……There’s no crying in racing…
“I swear on my children and my wife that I was not speeding!” he shouted over his radio. “There is no way! Thank you NASCAR for screwing my day.”
Crew chief Brian Pattie, aware NASCAR officials were monitoring Montoya’s rant, begged his driver to calm down.
“Don’t tell me to relax, dude!” Montoya yelled. “We had this in the bag.”
At $223,953, it was the most expensive speeding ticket in NASCAR history: Johnson earned $448,001 for the victory, while Montoya’s 11th-place finish netted him 224,048.
“Actually, it reminded me of the last time I led here,” Montoya said. “It was kind of easy, to be honest. I was cruising. I was super fast.” Only the result was vastly different.
“It kind of sucks, but it is what it is,” Montoya said of the speeding penalty. “I thought I wasn’t speeding. I was on the lights every time. We haven’t had to deal with that before. Once it happens, you can’t change it. It’s pretty frustrating.” Montoya could be heard on his radio swearing up and down and nearly crying that he did not speed...But NASCAR timing is all that mattered.
Four-Time Winner Jeff Gordon posted a top 10 finish… but it was not easy.. “We got a top-10 finish, but it just wasn't the kind of day we were searching for. We were real, real tight in traffic. I know a lot of guys were. I mean, we needed to go green the whole way. We actually had great fuel mileage there at the end and great position. The car was really good in clean air. We could really go fast and even pass cars when we'd get going. But on those restarts if you got to the outside, and even if you didn't, it was real hard to pass.”
Fan Favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr saw another Brickyard go up in smoke. “We haven’t had engine problems, so I assume it was driver error. I broke the valve train on the last pit stop and a couple of the pieces dropped to the bottom of the motor. They rattled around and must have blown the engine. I thought we had a good car, one of the best there for a while. We could have finished anywhere from fifth to 10th if things had gone right. I felt great today. I’m back to 100 percent.”
Good news today…. No tire issues. Goodyear did their homework with all the testing they had here prior to the race. Kudos to both NASCAR and Goodyear for their efforts to bring this race back to the Elite status it so deserved.
2009 Allstate 400 Notebook..
•Jimmie Johnson earned his third Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victory in his eighth career start in the race, tying the record set by Jeff Gordon in 2001.
•Second-place finisher Mark Martin also placed second in 1998. It was Martin’s 10th top-10 finish in this event.
•Juan Pablo Montoya led 116 laps, the most by a non-winner of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The previous record was 110 by Rusty Wallace in 2000. Bobby Labonte won that race.
•Jeff Burton and Bill Elliott increased their shared record running at the finish of 15 Allstate 400s at the Brickyard.
•Tony Stewart earned his seventh top-10 finish at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.
•Greg Biffle set an Allstate 400 at the Brickyard personal best finish of fourth. His previous best was six in 2004.
•Brian Vickers finished fifth, his second top five in six starts here.
•Kevin Harvick finished sixth, his sixth top-eight finish in nine starts here.
•Kasey Kahne finished seventh, his fourth top-seven finish in six starts here.
•Jeff Gordon posted his 13th top-nine finish in 16 races here.
•Matt Kenseth posted his sixth top-10 finish in 10 starts here.
•Juan Pablo Montoya's 116 laps led vaults him to sixth on the all-time lap leader list for this event.
It’s not unusual to see several uniformed members of the armed services attending the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend. Today’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard also brought out a large group of uniformed soldiers. Members of the 38th Infantry Division for the U.S. Army attended today’s race as guests of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The division will depart for Afghanistan in August, when it will assist the Afghanistan government in economic development, infrastructure development, agriculture development and security.
MARTIN MAKES HISTORY WITH ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD POLE
Photo By Dan Peters
The ageless Mark Martin continues his momentum topping the speed charts to take the poll for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Saturday, July 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Martin turned qualification laps of 182.054 mph. 2000 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya was 2nd qualifying at average speed of 180.581. The 20th race of the 2009 Sprint Cup season the Allstate 400 starts at 1:00PM CST on Sunday, July 26th on ESPN.
INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, July 25, 2009 – Mark Martin stayed atop the speed charts for a second consecutive day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, this time winning the pole for the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.
Martin’s lap of 49.436 seconds, 182.054 mph in Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg’s Chevrolet was more than 1 mph faster than second-place qualifier Juan Pablo Montoya, and Martin became the oldest pole winner of a major event in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history.
Martin’s age of 50 years, 197 days old eclipses the previous record set by Cliff Bergere, who was 49 years, 175 days old when he won the pole for the 1946 Indianapolis 500. The previous Allstate 400 at the Brickyard record was set by Jimmy Spencer, when he won the pole at age 44 years, 171 days in 2001.
“I like making history; that’s cool,” Martin said. “Yesterday was a lot of fun for me. We struggled through race trim practice and then we went into Q (qualifying) trim and we made improvements. We made three qualifying runs, the last one was about 10 minutes left of practice, (and) we went to the top of the board. You should have seen the light in all my guys’ faces.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to get a good lap today so that I wouldn’t let them down.”
Martin previously started second at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard three times – in 1996, 1999 and 2008.
The 160-lap, 400-mile race starts at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday. ESPN and the IMS Radio Network will provide live coverage.
Photo By Dan Peters
Montoya equaled his best Allstate 400 at the Brickyard start with his second-place effort of 180.803 in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet. He started and finished second in 2007, his rookie year in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing.
In what could be a good omen for Montoya, he is driving a Target Chevrolet painted in the same scheme as the IndyCar in which he won the 2000 Indianapolis 500 – after qualifying second. He also remains the only driver in history to start the Indianapolis 500, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Formula One race, and Montoya is eager to leave his mark as winner of another form of racing at IMS.
“Started twice second, so we’ll see,” he said, “From practice, we have probably the fastest car. But not always the fastest car wins.
“I think today if I looked at it, I’d rather win this than the Formula One race here, to be honest. I think it’s a bigger deal.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. also equaled his career-best qualifying effort of third at the 2.5-mile IMS oval with a lap of 180.567 in the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet despite suffering from a stomach virus, while Bill Elliott set a record with his fourth-place qualifying speed of 180.357 in the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford. It is Elliott’s ninth top-10 start at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the most of any driver.
Photo By Mark Rotor
David Reutimann completed the top five starters with a lap of 180.216 in the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota. It’s his best career start at IMS.
Qualifying was delayed almost three hours due to heavy rains in the morning, but the full field qualified under mostly sunny, warm conditions. Ryan Newman led final practice at 176.706 in the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet.
Among the drivers with Indiana ties, Sprint Cup Series points leader and two-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Tony Stewart will start seventh in the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet, Newman qualified 17th in the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, David Stremme will start 21st in the No. 12 Penske Dodge, four-time “400” winner Jeff Gordon qualified 22nd in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet and John Andretti, who also competed in the2009 Indianapolis 500, will start 35th in the No. 34 Taco Bell Chevrolet.
Three drivers failed to qualify for the race: Sterling Marlin, Max Papis and Derrike Cope.
STEWART COULD ADD MORE FIRSTS TO MAGICAL SEASON AT BRICKYARD
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, June 8, 2009 – Tony Stewart’s sensational season of firsts could continue July 24-26 at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, and a victory at IMS could help him achieve the most significant first – a season championship as an owner-driver – in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing in nearly 20 years.
Indiana native and resident Stewart earned his first victory in a points race as the owner-driver of Stewart-Haas Racing by winning the Pocono 500 on Sunday, June 7 at Pocono Raceway. It was the first victory for an owner-driver in NASCAR’s top series since Ricky Rudd in September 1998 at Martinsville, Va.
The special win increased Stewart’s lead atop the Sprint Cup Series standings, as he is 71 points ahead of four-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon.
“It’s just about enjoying the moment,” Stewart said. “Obviously, special races like the Brickyard and Daytona 500 and Indy 500s, obviously are marquee events that mean more, but a win is a win, man.”
And a win Sunday, July 26 in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard could help two-time Brickyard champion Stewart march closer toward becoming the first owner-driver to capture a Sprint Cup championship since the late Alan Kulwicki in 1992.
Taking the checkered flag at Indy in the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet also could help Stewart become only the second driver, behind Rudd in 1997, to win the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard as an owner-driver. It also would be the first time a stock car carrying No. 14 has won a major event at Indianapolis, as Stewart on June 7 became the first driver since Bobby Allison in December 1968 to win with No. 14 in NASCAR’s top flight.
Stewart’s racing hero, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, drove car No. 14 into Victory Lane twice, in 1967 and 1977. Foyt’s driver Kenny Brack was the last driver to win in a major event at IMS with No. 14, in the 1999 Indianapolis 500.
“You know, my attachment to the number is obviously through A.J. Foyt and my relationship with him,” Stewart said. “But I can’t say that I’ve researched the history of the number in this series that far.
“But, you know, this is something that hopefully I'll retire with this number. It means a lot to me, and to look up in the stands every week and to drive in the facilities and see the 14 flags flying and see people wearing 14 hats and 14 shirts, that’s something that means a lot to us. That’s our identity. So you know, it’s something we are proud of, and you know, good thing is we are adding to the history books every week now.”
2009 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard..Race Photo Gallery
Jaun Pablo Montoya Leads early...but to fast on pit road.. costs him a chance at win? Yes ..Finishes 11th
Photos (Above) By Mark Rotor
Another Bad Day at the race track for Kyle Busch... he hit the turn three wall... returned to the race later..Some 40 laps down
Photos Above By Mark Rotor
Casey Jamerson Rocks the crowd at the Brickyard
Photo by Mark Rotor
Goodyear happy with tire test results
Double-file restarts to spice up racing
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, June 5, 2009 – Goodyear officials were pleased with the results of NASCAR Sprint Cup tire testing June 1-2 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 24-26, as drivers completed several full-fuel runs on the 2.5-mile oval.
Nine drivers representing all four manufacturers in Sprint Cup combined to turn more 1,200 laps during two days of testing: Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Patrick Carpentier, Bill Elliott, Robby Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Juan Pablo Montoya, two-time Brickyard winner and Indiana native Tony Stewart and Indiana native David Stremme.
Goodyear has scheduled another test June 15-16 at IMS for final confirmation of the tire combination for the race. Twelve drivers are scheduled to test, again representing all four manufacturers in Sprint Cup: Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, four-time Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon, Kahne, Matt Kenseth, 2000 Brickyard winner Bobby Labonte, Indiana native Ryan Newman, David Reutimann, Reed Sorenson, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip.
“IMS, Goodyear and NASCAR are all committed to presenting a 2009 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard that all fans will enjoy, and it looks like the tire testing, which began last fall, is proving successful,” said Joie Chitwood, IMS president and chief operating officer. “This upcoming test scheduled June 15-16 will continue the process of producing an effective tire for the race.”
Throughout the test June 1-2, several cars made runs of more than 30 laps, with some even running out of fuel on track. A full-fuel run at IMS is estimated at 32 laps.
“We are very pleased with the results of this week’s test at Indy,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of race tire sales. “The weather cooperated and gave us two days of hot, sunny conditions, just like we expect to see in late July. We were able to put rubber down on the track very quickly, and completed several full fuel runs, with tire wear, temperatures, and appearance all looking good. We believe we’re in good shape for our final confirmation test on June 15-16.”
Double-file restarts at Indy
NASCAR will use double-file restarts at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, adding more shootout-style duels between the race leaders after caution periods.
The first- and second-place drivers will line up side-by-side as the green flag flies for each restart. Under the previous format, cars on the lead lap would restart in a single-file line while cars that had been lapped would start in an adjacent line.
NASCAR instituted the new system effective at the race June 7 at Pocono Raceway.
“I’m excited about it,” said two-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Tony Stewart. “The good thing is that when they drop the green, you’re going to be racing with the guys you’re racing for position instead of trying to clear lapped cars.
“Since NASCAR has adapted the ‘free pass,’ I think that’s something that now justifies being able to put those lapped cars to the back and let them race with each other, and let the guys who are racing on the lead lap do the same. I’m behind NASCAR 100 percent on this.”
Said 2003 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Kevin Harvick: “I think it’s great that NASCAR is listening to the fans. These new restart procedures are going to make our sport even more exciting than it already is. This will not only benefit the lead lap cars, but also the cars that go a lap down, so you get the best of both worlds.”
Under the new format, the race leader will have the option to restart on the inside or outside lane. The second-place driver would then restart next to the leader. Regardless of where the leader starts, drivers in odd number positions (third, fifth, seventh places, etc.) will restart on the inside lane, while drivers in even number positions (fourth, sixth, eighth places, etc.) will restart on the outside. All restarts will use the same format regardless of the number of laps remaining in the race.
‘Sweet spot’ tickets available
Turn 3 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is historically the “sweet spot” of action during the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, as some of the race’s most decisive passes and incidents have taken place there.
Selected backstretch reserved seats will be available at a special value price for the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 26, offering NASCAR fans great action at a great price. These seats are at the end of the back straightaway entering Turn 3 of the historic 2.5-mile IMS oval.
Seats in Sections 41 through 50 of the Northeast Vista Backstretch, including the Northeast Vista Backstretch Platform (wheelchair-accessible seating), will sell for $45 each, a $30 savings.
Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.
2009 IMS tickets: Established in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has long prevailed as an icon of motorsports excellence. Beginning in 2009, the Speedway celebrates its Centennial Era, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the facility in 2009 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2011.
Tickets for the two remaining events in 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP – can be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.
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