Racingone Rewind: Atlanta

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    A look back at Jimmie Johnson's 31st career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in Sunday's Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway including news, notes and observations by the RacingOne staff.

    RacingOneCast
    Click Here to watch RacingOne's video recap of the Pep Boys 500 that includes comments from Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards. itunes Podcast | YouTube

    Inside Line
    Jimmie Johnson was ahead during a green-white-checkered finish when Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crash brought out the caution to end the race, sealing Johnson's second straight NEXTEL Cup win and giving him a sweep of Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2007.

    Keys to Victory Lane
    The call to take only two tires during the day's last pit stop was the right one by Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus, who gained the necessary track position to put them in the lead group.

    Zero to Hero
    Reed Sorenson started 32nd but at Georgia native moved up late in the race and the last laps craziness gave him a third-place finish.

    Hero to Zero
    Martin Truex Jr. had the strongest car of the day, leading 135 laps, only to get caught up in the lap 322 incident when Denny Hamlin ran out of gas leading the field to the green. Truex would have to settle for 31st place in the end after posting an average finish of 3.1 throughout the race.



    Rookie of the Race
    A.J. Allmendinger brought the Red Bull Toyota home 16th to top the rookie crop on Sunday.

    Notables
    Jeff Burton started 28th and posted a top five finish in the AT&T Chevrolet. His RCR teammate Clint Bowyer began the day 26th and came home sixth. And Kyle Petty took the green flag from the 39th spot and ended the day 13th.

    Chase for the Cup
    The two man race tightened up with Jeff Gordon now leading Johnson by only nine points while Bowyer is third 111 behind.

    Pep Boys 500 Loop Data Leaders
  • Average Running Position: Martin Truex Jr. - 3.1
  • Fastest Early In a Run: Kurt Busch - 181.571 mph
  • Fastest Late In a Run: Kurt Busch - 175.022 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 1: Kasey Kahne - 178.540 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 2: Kyle Busch - 166.721 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 3: Kurt Busch - 183.198 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 4: Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 169.056 mph
  • Fastest Laps Run: Martin Truex Jr. - 57
  • Fastest on Restarts: Martin Truex Jr. - 180.282 mph
  • Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 91

    Pit Stops
  • Jimmie Johnson captured his 31st career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in his 216th start. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Johnson won the 165th race for car owner Rick Hendrick. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Johnson became third driver to win at Atlanta from the sixth position. He also became the 88th driver overall to win a race from that starting place. Starting Position Facts
  • Johnson one time for eight laps. Lap Summary
  • Johnson won the 24th race of the season for Chevrolet. It was also the 619th overall win for the manufacturer. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Carl Edwards' second-place finish was his sixth finish of seventh or better in seven starts at Atlanta.
  • Reed Sorenson captured his career best finish in front of the hometown crowd after taking the checkered flag in third.
  • Matt Kenseth scored his third consecutive top five at Atlanta after finishing fourth.
  • Jeff Burton's fifth-place finish was his ninth top five of 2007.
  • Clint Bowyer captured his second consecutive top 10 at Atlanta with a sixth-place finish.
  • Jeff Gordon's seventh-place finish was his 19 top 10 at Atlanta.
  • Kurt Busch led 98 laps en route to an eighth-place finish.
  • Kasey Kahne's scored his fifth top 10 at Atlanta with a ninth-place finish.
  • Brian Vickers' 10th-place finish was his fifth top 10 of 2007.
  • The 329-lap race saw 19 lead changes among 11 drivers.
  • 14 caution flags were thrown for 55 laps.
  • The Pep Boys 500 lasted 3 hours, 44 minutes, 45 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • Nice of Carl Edwards to get as much good publicity as possible with a trip to victory lane Sunday to congratulate Jimmie Johnson. "The Carl" must have gone out for a beer.
  • Michael Waltrip finishing 11th? It's not a trip back in a time machine, it's the truth.
  • Tony Stewart, do the math. No matter what the numbers say, you're out of the title race.
  • Another rough day for some guys trying to audition for 2008 including David Stremme and Johnny Sauter.
  • Hard to figure out what kind of calculator Mike Ford was using Sunday to put Denny Hamlin in that late race spot.
  • There were a lot of boos when Jeff Gordon gave the command to start engines, but at least no one threw any beer bottles.
  • "The King" Richard Petty should have worn his Cowboy hat. Maybe the extra weight would have kept it on his head when he threw the green flag to start the race.

    Garage Talk
  • "All I know is I have a headache and I'm going to my bus to rest up." - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • "I hate it for the guys behind us who got caught up in the wreck." - Denny Hamlin
  • "I don't know, what kind of question is that?" -Mark Martin when asked by a reporter how much impact his body absorbed in a crash with David Gilliland
  • "It sucked it right off." -Richard Petty, who lost his hat when he threw the green flag to start the race as the Honorary Starter.

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten Georgia peaches, we'll give Sunday's Pep Boys 500 a juicy seven. What's with all the caution flags lately? After wading through tire problems and motors blowing to slow things down, the day built up to a rip roaring finish that had as many turns as a Georgia back road. That made up for stretches of boredom in the middle, but what 500-mile race doesn't have stages of tedium? Let's hope next week's trip to Atlanta's sister track in Texas breaks the norm.

Photos

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