Jimmie Johnson earned the new nickname “Seven-Time” after taking the checkered flag out in front of the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The victory in the Ford EcoBoost 400 was the future Hall-of-Fame driver’s seventh Sprint Cup championship. The triumph tied Johnson with icons Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. with the most championships by any NASCAR driver in the sport illustrious history.
The win didn’t come easy, as Jimmie Johnson was forced to start from the rear after unapproved adjustments to his hot-rod before the event. Even though his #48 Hendrick Motorsports’ Chevrolet was not the fastest, a late-race restart put him back in contention. The seven-time champion led for only the final three laps, earning him his first win at the 1.5-mile track and career win No. 80.
Jimmie Johnson pulled away to win by .466 seconds ahead of Kyle Larson. Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick finished the Ford EcoBoost 400 in third, followed by Chase contender Joey Logano in fourth.
“Oh, my gosh, there is no, no way on earth,” said Johnson, who picked up his first victory at Homestead, his fifth of the season and the 80th of his career. “Just beyond words. Just didn’t think the race was unfolding for us like we needed to be the champs, but we just kept our heads in the game. Chad also called a great strategy, made some great adjustments for the short runs. “Luck also came our way and we were able to win the race and win the championship. So grateful for the opportunity, and also so thankful and blessed. I am at a loss for words.”
A crazy re-start on the 257th of 268 laps turned of Sunday’s season-ending race, denied first ever championships for both Carl Edwards and Joey Logano at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Carl Edwards had re-started second alongside race leader Kyle Larson with Joey Logano lined up third behind him. When Logano drove his machine to the inside lane, Edwards swerved down to block his advances. As a result, both cars collided and Edwards’ car took the brunt of the damage.
Amazingly, Carl Edwards just got out of his torn up car and walked toward the infield medical facility. Being the class act that his is, Edwards’ first stop was a visit to the # 22 pit box to offer his side of the incident to Crew Chief Todd Gordon.
Todd Gordon said he had been tipped off by team owner Roger Penske that Carl Edwards’ intentions were amicable. After a brief exchange between driver and crew chief, the veteran said his estimation of Edwards inexorability had been high-lighted even more.
“I had a lot of thoughts on that walk,” Edwards said, his title hopes dashed. “That was — just it’s hard to — you also put so much into this and also so many people push so hard and you don’t get opportunities like this very often. I also just hope that pretty quickly I can get over the frustration and look at this for what it is.”
Roger Penske racer Joey Logano, fell to eighth after his collision with Carl Edwards. Unfortunately, he was able to re-start but couldn’t keep up with Jimmie Johnson’s surge that followed. Logano also chalked-up his unfortunate run-in with Edwards to the heat of the moment, saying that he appreciated his gesture to talk with his # 22 pit crew.
Rousch Racing’s Jamie McMurray rounded out the top five in fifth, finishing behind Joey Logano. Defending Sprint Cup champ Kyle “Rowdy” Busch ended the event in sixth and third in the Chase standings.
Carl Edwards, who seemed like he was headed for glory after leading 47 laps, had to exit the race with 10 circuits remaining. The classy veteran finished 34th, 11 laps down. In the final full-time race of his decorated Sprint Cup Series career, Tony “Smoke” Stewart finished out the Ford EcoBoost 400 in the 22nd spot.
Final Results for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
1. (14) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 268.
2. (24) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 268.
3. (1) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 268.
4. (13) Joey Logano, Ford, 268.
5. (15) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 268.
6. (9) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 268.
7. (7) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 268.
8. (12) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 268.
9. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 268.
10. (26) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 268.
11. (5) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 268.
12. (17) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 268.
13. (16) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 268.
14. (28) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 268.
15. (22) Brian Scott, Ford, 268.
16. (19) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 268.
17. (21) Greg Biffle, Ford, 267.
18. (23) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 267.
19. (30) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 266.
20. (20) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 266.
21. (32) Landon Cassill, Ford, 266.
22. (11) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 266.
23. (33) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 266.
24. (27) Chris Buescher, Ford, 266.
25. (3) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, Accident, 264.
26. (8) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 264.
27. (31) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 264.
28. (40) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 264.
29. (36) David Ragan, Toyota, 264.
30. (18) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, Accident, 262.
31. (38) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, 261.
32. (37) Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 259.
33. (34) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, Accident, 258.
34. (10) Carl Edwards, Toyota, Accident, 257.
35. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, Accident, 257.
36. (6) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Accident, 257.
37. (29) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, Accident, 257.
38. (35) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, Accident, 255.
39. (39) Dylan Lupton, Ford, 250.
40. (25) Aric Almirola, Ford, 213.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 128.869 mph.
Time of Race: 3 Hours, 07 Minutes, 10 Seconds. Margin of Victory: 0.466 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 7 for 33 laps.
Lead Changes: 20 among 6 drivers.
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