Racingone Rewind: Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS - A look back at Jimmie Johnson's 20th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway including news, notes and observations by RacingOne's own Pete Pistone and Jeff Wackerlin.

Inside Line
Jimmie Johnson passed Matt Kenseth on the final turn of the final lap to win the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 for his second straight win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Keys to Victory Lane
A late race caution forced a green-white-checkered finish and Johnson was able to use the high line to shoot around Kenseth and take a half-car length win at the finish line.

Zero to Hero
Casey Mears started 38th but rallied to come home ninth, his third straight top-10 finish of the season.

Hero to Zero
Tony Stewart led 54 laps but a tire rub after a skirmish with Kyle Busch dropped him to a 21st-place finish.

Notables
Mark Martin started 18th and led early in the race before winding up sixth. Kevin Harvick rallied from a 29th starting spot and turned in an 11th-place finish. And Robby Gordon, in front of nearly 3,000 guests of Las Vegas sponsor Harrah's, came home 12th.

Rookie of the Race
Denny Hamlin made some contact with Kenny Wallace to cause the race's final caution, but the impressive freshman still managed a 10th-place finish.

Pit Stops
  • Jimmie Johnson captured his 20th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in his 150th start and second consecutive at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The win was also his third top 10 in five starts at LVMS. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Johnson won the 142nd race - third at LVMS - for car owner Rick Hendrick. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Johnson became the first driver to win at LVMS from inside the top five. He became the 143rd driver overall to win a race from the third starting position. Starting Position Facts
  • The only lap Johnson led was the one that counted - the last lap. Lap Summary
  • Johnson has now given Chevrolet their two wins in 2006. It was also the 575 overall win for Chevrolet. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Matt Kenseth (second) led the most laps with 146 en route to his fourth consecutive top 10 at LVMS.
  • Kyle Busch has now finished second and third, respectively, in the last two races at LVMS.
  • Kasey Kahne (fourth) rebounded from last year's 38th-place finish by taking his second career top five at LVMS.
  • Jeff Gordon captured his fourth top five at LVMS with today's fifth-place finish.
  • Mark Martin added his seventh series top 10 at LVMS with his sixth-place finish.
  • Jeff Burton (seventh) posted his best finish at LVMS with Richard Childress Racing. It was his sixth overall top 10.
  • Greg Biffle (eighth) scored his second consecutive top 10 at LVMS in the same car that led 168 laps before losing the engine two weeks ago at California.
  • Casey Mears captured his third consecutive top 10 at LVMS with his ninth-place finish.
  • Denny Hamlin was the highest finishing rookie, finishing 10th.
  • The 267-lap race saw 22 lead changes among 11 drivers and an average speed of 133.358 mph.
  • Seven caution flags were thrown for 30 laps.
  • Today's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 lasted 3 hours, 2 minutes, 13 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • Once again, LVMS rolled out psuedo-celebrity Robin Leach to introduce the line-up. By the looks of him, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" has morphed into "Lifestyles of the Chubby and Disoriented."
  • Although not as good as his infamous intro of Morgan Shepherd's "Racing with HAY-ZEUSS" mistake a couple years ago, Leach did manage to intro Joe Gibbs Racing's rookie as "JJ Ye-LAY." Note to LVMS staff, dust off Wayne Newton for next year's introduction duty.
  • The good news is Las Vegas will add graduated banking next year, which should improve the racing dramatically. The bad news is that it didn't happen eight years ago.
  • Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch should be booked on an episode of "Dr. Phil" ASAP.
  • When Reed Sorenson and Ryan Newman cut tires and crashed early, thoughts of last year's fall Charlotte race debacle began to run through everyone's minds.
  • Nice run for Jeff Gordon, sporting the Nicorette colors for the first time this year. And thank you Nicorette for trying to keep our lungs clean.
  • When did Las Vegas turn into an oldies rock band revival city? REO Speedwagon, Kansas and Cheap Trick were all in town performing at various hotels this weekend while Bon Jovi was packing the MGM Grand on Saturday. What, no Journey?

    Say Cheese
  • Click Here to view photos from the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.

    Media Center
  • Jimmie Johnson talks about his battle over the closing laps with Matt Kenseth. Listen
  • Johnson talks about his strong start to the season. Listen
  • Matt Kenseth says he was worried about Jimmie Johnson on the last few laps. Listen

    Garage Talk
    "I had kind of a front row seat. I was sitting back there in fifth. I went into Turn 3 and I saw Jimmie go to the outside of him (Matt Kenseth) and I thought man, if he could just get to his quarter panel I think he's got him. I saw him do it. I wasn't sure if he won at the line, but I was sure pulling for him and I'm very excited for that team." -Jeff Gordon on Jimmie Johnson's last lap pass.

    "What I'm upset about is that with 80 laps to go we're sitting there for 15-20 laps behind him trying to get by and he's holding us up for no reason. With 80 laps to go he's holding us up and we all have another pit stop to make. Work on your car and go on. There's just an etiquette. I'm frustrated with it and I honestly think I have every right to be. There's absolutely no reason to hold a driver up when there's 80 laps to go." -Tony Stewart on trying to get by Kyle Busch during the race.

    "There is no more rolling over and playing dead and letting guys go and stuff like that -- Mark Martin style -- it's time to race and it's time to get after it and that's what I was doing." -Kyle Busch

    "This one hurts, but – hell, if anything, it gives me some good material for my XM radio show this week." -Dale Earnhardt Jr.

    "I’m really proud of my little brother today. He had a strong finish, and I’m sure he’s pumped up about it.” -Kurt Busch

    "Goodyear’s got some work to do. I’m stuck. I’m running as hard as I can to try to get my lap back. It’s just unfortunate." -Ryan Newman, who finished 43rd.

    "Not much to say except the Army Chevy was a little loose and I lost it after trying real hard to pass the No. 11 car (Denny Hamlin)." -Joe Nemechek, who lost control of the 01 car on Lap 105 of 267 as he was exiting Turn 4.

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten Elvis impersonators, we'll give Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 a seven, but we're going to split the pot a bit. The first 99 percent of the race gets a 1 with the last two laps a solid 10. That's two snoozers in a row on the mile and a half cookie cutters and thankfully, Vegas will begin tearing up the track to make it better on Monday. We shouldn't have the same problem next week when the series heads to the fastest track on the circuit, Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Golden Corral 500.
    
            
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