Matt Kenseth wins at Dover

May 15, 2011
by Lee

The cars have fired on pit road for the FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks at the Dover International Speedway. Yesterday we saw a crazy finish to the Nationwide Series race, will we see the same thing today?

Four hundred laps on the one mile narrow concrete track known as the Monster Mile make up the race today. Jimmie Johnson will lead the field to the green flag after being awarded the pole position based on practice speeds. Qualifying was rained out on Saturday, therefore the field is set by practice speeds. Starting next to Johnson will be A.J. Allmendinger.

My feeling is that much of the broadcast is going to be focused on Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. From what I have heard from both of them, the feud is not over, but sounds as though no much is going to happen between them today. If anything exciting happens between them, I will be sure to provide it.

The pace car lights are out and the Johnson brings them up to speed. Johnson gets a good start and leads the field through two. There is two by two racing behind Johnson from around position five on back. Brian Vickers gets into the wall on the front stretch when trying to avoid Harvick coming down the track.

Competition caution will be thrown at lap 40 to check tire wear. With all the rain this weekend in Dover, the track has been green most of the weekend.

Watching the race today on Jimmie Johnson’s channel on DirecTV HotPass.

Lap 21 and we get the first caution of the day. Joey Logano spins off of turn two and has front end damage. Logano just lost the car on his own and got into the backstretch wall. Logano will be able to continue after repairs. Leaders stay out on the caution.

Lap 25 and the green flag is back out. Johnson gets the lead back into turn one with Edwards now jumping up to second. Edwards had second, but Allmindinger got into three much harder and went back to second.

Lap 41 and the competition caution is now out. All the leaders will be down pit road. Carl Edwards beats Johnson off the line to win the race off of pit road.

Lap 46 and we get back to full speed racing. Edwards leads at the line, but after a lap and a half, Johnson is able to go past Edwards on the outside. Good side by side racing at the front on that restart.

Lap 75 and the top five is Johnson, Allmendinger, Edwards, Marcos Ambrose, and Harvick.

Lap 100 and the top five is Johnson, Edwards, Ambrose, Allmendinger, and Harvick. Cars are just turning laps and not a whole lot to write about at the moment. Green flag stops should be coming in about ten laps or so.

Lap 106 and the green flag stops begin. Leader comes in on Lap 109. Johnson takes four tires and fuel. David Ragan spins his car at the entrance of pit road, but is able to keep going. Ragan actually hit the right side front and back. Any chance of winning is gone for Ragan. Ragan also slowed Jamie McMurray and Tony Stewart who were coming in just behind him.

Lapp 115 and green flag stops are done with Johnson holding serve. Ambrose has now moved up to the second position.

Lap 145 and Edwards is able to go past Johnson through turn four. Johnson has reported that his car is much tighter this run due to rubber build up on the track. There are currently 19 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 163 and the caution is out for rain drops coming out of the sky. We have not reached half way, so I would expect everyone to go ahead and pit, even if the red flag is going to coming out after the stops. Johnson wins the race off of pit road with Edwards second. Denny Hamlin penalized for speeding on pit road during the pit stops.

Lap 170 and the rain drops have gone away and we get the restart. Johnson seems to be the only one ready for the restart as he jumps out to a five car length lead. Ambrose moves to second with Edwards third.

Lap 190 and Edwards goes around Johnson to take the lead. A quick update on Allmendinger, lost a cylinder and brought the car to the garage around 20 or so laps ago. Too bad for Allmendinger, had a good run going today.

Half Way Stats:

Leaders: 8 for 13 Lead Changes

Laps Led: Jimmie Johnson 159 Laps

Cautions: 3 for 14 Laps

Average Speed: 126.087 MPH

Lead Lap Cars: 18

Lap 210 and the top five is Edwards, Johnson, Ambrose, Matt Kenseth, and Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 217 and the caution is out for debris on the track. This was a 47 lap run from the last caution. Leaders will hit pit road for service. Kurt Busch is the lucky dog on this caution. Edwards beats Ambrose off of pit road.

Lap 222 and we get the green flag and we are back racing. Edwards gets away into turn one to maintain the lead. Johnson is now second as we see rain drops on his windshield with the sun shining.

Lap 250 and the top five is Edwards, Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, and Ambrose.

Lap 281 and green flag stops are under way with David Reutimann coming in first. Lap 283 and fourth place driver Kenseth is in. The next lap and Edwards is now on pit road. Lap 285 and much of the field has been in. Johnson will win the green flag stops by being in front of Edwards as he blends back in on the track. Lap 289 and Johnson passes Juan Pablo Montoya to take over the lead.

Lap 300 and the top five is Johnson, Edwards, Bowyer, Harvick, and Jeff Burton.

Lap 313 and the two car show continues with Edwards grabbing the lead, but Johnson rallies on the outside to go back to the point. Edwards now runs down low again, but is not able to get past Johnson. Bowyer is now moving into the picture as well. Johnson is running the high groove and keeping them pinned. Johnson now clears Edwards and maintains the lead.

Lap 325 and the top five is Johnson, Edwards, Bowyer, Harvick and Burton.

Lap 331 and we get a caution for Kahne going into the wall with a tire down. Leaders are in and Bowyer wins the race off with Johnson second. The segment between yellows was 111 laps.

Lap 336 and we get the restart with Bowyer getting into turn one first. Johnson now sets sail to catch Bowyer, but he is out to a 10 car length lead.

Lap 350 and the top five is Bowyer, Edwards, Johnson, Kenseth, and Burton.

Lap 362 and Montoya will bring out the caution with a spin in turn four. Pit stops are up for the leaders as they roll down pit road. Kenseth wins the race of pit road with Dale Earnhardt Jr. being second. Mark Martin did not pit and will be the leader.

Lap 364 and with a big roll of the dice Martin leads the field back up to speed. Martin gets clear of Kenseth off of turn two and leads back to the stripe. Lap 368 and Kenseth with better tires now gets past Martin for the lead.

Lap 380 and the top five is Kenseth, Martin, Ambrose, Kyle Busch, and Vickers.

Lap 390 and the top five remains the same.

Five to go and it looks like it is going to be Kenseth’s day.

In one of the most boring races I have seen in some time, Matt Kenseth wins at Dover. Top five is Kenseth, Martin, Ambrose, Kyle Busch, and Vickers.

Final Race Stats

Leaders: 11 for 23 Lead Changes

Laps Led: Jimmie Johnson 207 Laps

Cautions: 6 for 28 Laps

Average Speed: 125.583 MPH

Lead Lap Cars: 18

Time of the Race: 3:13:18

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