Racingone Rewind: Atlanta

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    A look back at Jimmie Johnson's 25th career NEXTEL Cup in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway including news, notes and observations by RacingOne's own Pete Pistone and Jeff Wackerlin.

    RacingOneCast
    Click Here to watch RacingOne's audio slideshow recap of Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500. itunes Podcast

    Inside Line
    Jimmie Johnson scored his second straight NEXTEL Cup Series victory on Sunday by winning the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    Keys to Victory Lane
    Johnson worked around Tony Stewart on the inside line with three laps to go and pulled away to score the win, his third straight top-five finish of the season. Complete Results

    Zero to Hero
    Jeff Burton, fresh off his Busch Series win on Saturday, started 32nd but brought his Cingular Wireless Chevrolet home to a third-place finish.

    Hero to Zero
    Ryan Newman broke out of his pole-winning drought, but a changed engine forced him to start from the rear of the field. He ultimately finished 23rd. Last year's race winner Kasey Kahne was caught up in the day's only real accident and credited with a 39th-place finish.

    Rookie of the Race
    Juan Pablo Montoya ran as high as third and kept with the leaders much of the day. He settled for his best career NEXTEL Cup finish in fifth.



    Kobalt 500 Loop Data Leaders
  • Average Running Position: Jimmie Johnson - 2.0
  • Fastest Early In a Run: Jimmie Johnson - 181.033 mph
  • Fastest Late In a Run: Jimmie Johnson - 175.441 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 1: Jeff Burton - 180.070 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 2: Tony Stewart - 166.753 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 3: Jimmie Johnson - 182.452 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 4: Jimmie Johnson - 169.539 mph
  • Fastest Laps Run: Jimmie Johnson - 54
  • Fastest on Restarts: Jimmie Johnson - 180.127 mph
  • Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Brian Vickers - 131

    Notables
    Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards maintained their early season strength with sixth and seventh place finishes, respectively. Jamie McMurray started back in the 37th spot but climbed up to finish 15th.

    Pit Stops
  • Jimmie Johnson captured his 25th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win - second at AMS - in his 187th start. The win was also his eighth top 10 at Atlanta. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Johnson won the 151st race for car owner Rick Hendrick. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Johnson, who started third, became the ninth driver to win at Atlanta from that starting position. He also became the 255th driver overall to win a race from third. Starting Position Facts
  • Johnson led the most laps, leading nine times for 135 laps Lap Summary
  • Johnson won the third race of the season for Chevrolet. It was also the 599th overall win for the manufacturer. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Tony Stewart's second-place finish was his third consecutive top-five finish at Atlanta.
  • Matt Kenseth (third) captured his eighth top 10 at AMS in his 15th track start.
  • Jeff Burton's fourth-place finish was his first NEXTEL Cup top five in six starts with Richard Childress Racing at AMS.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya notched his first career NEXTEL Cup top five with a fifth-place finish.
  • Clint Bowyer's sixth-place finish was his first top 20 in three starts at Atlanta.
  • Carl Edwards, who made his sixth NEXTEL Cup start at AMS, lowered his Atlanta finishing average to 9.8 with his seventh-place finish.
  • Martin Truex Jr's eighth-place finish was his first top 10 in five starts at Atlanta.
  • Reed Sorenson captured his sixth career NEXTEL Cup top 10 with his ninth-place finish.
  • Mark Martin's 10th-place finish was his 22nd top 10 at Atlanta.
  • The 325-lap race saw 31 lead changes among 13 drivers and an average speed of 152.915 mph.
  • Six caution flags were thrown for 27 laps.
  • The Kobalt Tools 500 lasted 3 hours, 16 minutes, 23 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • Stewart's comments about Johnson giving him room to race were strange. He's the last guy who should ever talk about giving anyone room on the racetrack.
  • For the conspiracy theorists out there, yes the Kobalt Tools car won the Kobalt Tools 500. Using that logic, whoever has the Food City one race sponsorship deal next week is a shoo-in at Bristol - but wait, it's Ward Burton, so maybe not.
  • Regan Smith, the seat has been warmed for you.
  • Wonder what Mark Martin will be barbequing next Sunday?
  • We think those creepy women from the TV commercial might have hunted down and killed Kasey Kahne's driving ability.
  • Clint Bowyer will win a NEXTEL Cup race this season.
  • So will Juan Pablo Montoya, and it may not be at Watkins Glen or Infineon.

    Garage Talk
  • "He (Johnson) was faster than us right there. I just wish he would’ve given us enough room to race him for it," - Tony Stewart
  • "It is really cool and I guess it’s kind of a storybook way to go out after chasing those points so hard for the last 20 years. It’s definitely the way to do it." - Mark Martin
  • "I can't say that I've driven a race car that hard before. It really was challenging internally in my own head to drive that hard and get on the gas pedal that early and to try to chase Tony down and get by him so just a great, great race." - Jimmie Johnson
  • "I think this is probably bigger than the win in Mexico. Mexico, yeah, it was great and everything, but we do two road courses a year and 34 ovals, so I think this was a big step forward for the team." - Juan Pablo Montoya
  • "I was driving down the straightaway and all of a sudden I got hit from behind. I'm not sure what happened, but I think that's the first time I've been wrecked on a straightaway." - Brian Vickers
  • "The 00 right-reared me at the end of the backstretch and turned me in the fence. I guess it’s payback from California, I don’t know." - Greg Biffle, about the same accident

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten basketball nets (since the NCAA Final Four will be held in Atlanta), we'll give Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at six. A fast race, slowed by only six cautions for mostly debris, but the letdown of a big finish was disappointing. Atlanta has come to be known for the fantastic ending, but once Johnson got past Stewart the drama was gone and the race was over. The middle part dragged and overall it wasn't a memorable day. Now that might change in a hurry when we go to Bristol next week, always an exciting place but now with the intrigue of the Car of Tomorrow thrown in for good measure. Let's hope the weather's better than last year and we are spared the sight of anyone making snow angels on the frontstretch.

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