Johnson Jump Starts Mother’s Day With SpongeBob 400 Victory

by Roberta Cowan On Sun, May. 10, 2015

Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Jimmy Johnson spun out early in the race. His chances to win the race seemed distant at best. But just after midnight in the two-hour rain delayed SpongeBob SquarePants 400, Jimmy Johnson took the checkered flag for his third victory of the year and his third victory at Kansas Speedway.

“I could tell he (Chad Knaus) was having a hard time making the decision. I’m kind of running through the events in my mind. We have two wins, we are locked in the Chase, and we are here to win a race, let’s gamble. Let’s go for it. Sure enough, it paid off. A few more laps I think the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) would have had me. He was awfully strong. Obviously being on right side tires would have been an advantage for him. We had just enough time to get this Lowe’s Chevrolet to Victory Lane. Just very proud of the team and the effort that has gone into it. We have great racecars. I wish we would qualify a little better on Friday’s, that would make life a lot easier for us. We have a very fast racecar. I’m very proud of this race team.”

Kevin Harvick led for a great deal of the race, but a late race caution had him restarting in the sixth spot. Harvick climbed quickly through the field but ran out of laps while closing on Johnson in second.

“Rodney just made some great adjustments there under the green flag pit stop, packer in or out of the front, I don’t remember what, and then two jack bolts in the rear and air pressure all in one stop and the car really came to life. They just did a great job, they put us in a position to have chance to win, and in the end, the 48 and the 88 didn’t have the speed so they gambled and they were able to get enough cars in between us that we were not able to have enough laps to get around them. “

Dale Earnhardt Jr. struggled all night with a loose and ill handling car but rallied late to finish third.

“Yeah, we had some good adjustments. We were in big trouble when the race started. We had some real good adjustments that got the car flying.”

Martin Truex Jr. had the dominant car for the night. An error on a pit stop late in the race put him back in the pack. Truex battled his way back to finish ninth but continues to hold onto the second spot in the points.

“Yeah, definitely not the finish we wanted, obviously, but proud of the guys for the weekend we had, just had good speed all weekend, brought a brand new car here and just proud of that. It’s kind of disappointing, but at the same time proud of the way we ran, and I think it’s something we can build off of.”

Finishing Order:

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Jeff Gordon
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Matt Kenseth
  7. Brad Keselowski
  8. Kurt Busch
  9. Martin Truex Jr.
  10. Ryan Newman
  11. Aric Almirola
  12. Greg Biffle
  13. Jamie McMurray
  14. AJ Allmendinger
  15. Kyle Larson
  16. Sam Hornish Jr.
  17. Kasey Kahne
  18. Paul Menard
  19. Casey Mears
  20. Carl Edwards
  21. Clint Bowyer
  22. Austin Dillion
  23. Michael Annett
  24. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  25. Matt DiBenedetto
  26. Ty Dillion
  27. Danica Patrick
  28. Josh Wise
  29. Landon Cassill
  30. Justin Allgaier
  31. Trevor Bayne
  32. David Gilliand
  33. David Ragan
  34. Brett Moffitt
  35. Cole Whitt
  36. Michael McDowell
  37. JJ Yeley
  38. Joey Gase
  39. Tony Stewart
  40. Erik Jones
  41. Denny Hamlin
  42. Jeb Burton
  43. Alex Bowman

 

 

 

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