April 24, 2017
Jimmie Johnson Wins Food City 500 Bristol
Jimmie Johnson won the rain-delayed Food City 500 Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Johnson passed Kevin Harvick with 21 laps remaining, then drove away for his second Monster Energy Cup Series win in a row and his second at the half-mile Tennessee track. j. The defending Cup champion won two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway, the final race before the Easter holiday break.
“This track has been difficult over the years and we really hit on something Saturday afternoon in that last practice session around the bottom and honestly — it’s what I’ve been looking for here for 16 years and we finally figured it out,” Johnson said. “So, I’m very very happy.”
Clint Bowyer finished second, with Harvick third, Matt Kenseth fourth, and Joey Logano fifth. Polesitter Kyle Larson finished sixth, followed by Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Denny Hamlin.
Larson had the fastest car for much of the 500-lap event, leading a race-high 202 laps. But a speeding penalty on his last pit stop of the day dropped him to 20th and he was unable to rally for his second win of the season. The 24-year-old retains his points leader by 27 over second-place Elliott.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s up-and-down season continued, as a broken oil cooler caused the No. 88 car to go straight into the outside Turn 1 wall on a Lap 218 restart. N. The resulting damage was unrepairable within the five-minute window NASCAR mandates teams to make repairs, and Earnhardt retired. He finished 38th.
On the season, Earnhardt has struggled with consistency with just a single top-10 finish and four finishes of 30th or worse in eight races. He now ranks 24th in points entering next Sunday’s race at Richmond International Raceway.
“It’s unfortunate,” Earnhardt said. “We weren’t running that great, but we were working on our car and trying to figure out how to get it to run better and get something out of today. But, we are going to have another bad finish. We have had a lot of them this year. It’s going to be tough.”
The Food City 500 was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, but unrelenting heavy rain force a postponement to Monday. Despite inclement weather in the area and a chance of rain, the race was completed without any further interference from Mother Nature.K.
In addition to Earnhardt, Kyle Busch and Danica Patrick were among the notables involved in on-track incidents. r. Busch had two separate tire failures that caused him to hit the wall. Although he recovered from the first issue and raced his way back into the top 10, the second accident was more significant and ended his day.
Patrick was clipped in the right rear-quarter panel by David Ragan, sending her spinning into the outside Turn 1 wall. With her No. 10 car sustaining major damage, Patrick also was unable to continue.
Nine cautions slowed the race.
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