Jimmie Johnson made the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup interesting again.
Johnson held off his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., down the stretch to win for a record eighth time at Dover International Speedway.
The win helped him pull within eight points of points leader Matt Kenseth.
When Johnson crossed the finish line on Sunday afternoon, his first thought wasn’t about the Chase but instead he reflected on the history he had just achieved. Winning eight times at Dover, broke a tie with Richard Petty and Bobby Allison.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever done what Richard Petty hasn’t,” Johnson said. “To get this eighth win here is very, very special.”
“That’s real disappointing there, but Jimmie’s just that fast,” Junior said. “He’s just that good around this place. I thought we might be able to get to him, and I was definitely going to do whatever I could to win if I could get him within reach. I just couldn’t get to him.”
Johnson said he was a little nervous when he saw Earnhardt in his mirror in second immediately after the restart.
Kenseth, winner of the first two races of the Chase, faded from fourth to seventh over the races final stint. Kyle Busch, who entered Dover in second in the standings, finished fifth and is 12 points behind Kenseth in third place.
The next race for the Sprint Cup Series is Sunday, October 6th from Kansas Speedway.