Jimmie Johnson wins.....Again
However, Las Vgas is normally a fun track for racing and I soon flipped back - I'm sure glad I have "Last channel" on my remote. Jeff Gordon took the early lead in the race, followed closely by the Busch brothers. Not surprisingly, there were several early cautions as some of the lesser funded cars either crashed out or had engine problems. Aric Almirola, Bobby Labonte, Michael McDowell and Robby Gordon all had problems within the first 60 laps.
Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon continued to shuffle back and forth for top spot, but because of the number of cautions, did not take off and lap a lot of the field in the early running.
Juan Pablo Montoya got into the wall and collected his teammate, Daytona 500 winner, Jamie McMurray. It honestly seems that a win at Daytona is almost a doomsday sentence for the rest of the season. More than once the winner of the 500 had gone on to have a terrible season. Unfortunately, the wrecking cars had also collected Kurt Busch. The elder Bush brother had been strong in the early running, but ended up three laps down after making repairs in order to just get back on the track for points.
Even as NASCAR continued to try to get the race underway again, the caution lights continue to be unresponsive, so even as the green flag waved, the yellow lights flashed.
As the race closed in on half way, it had so far been all Jeff Gordon. His teammate, Jimmie Johnson, had settled in right behind him, with the Richard Childress Racing cars all showing strength as well. The Roush cars were also strong, with Kenseth in the top 5 and Carl only a few spots behind. But, as expected, Kyle Bush was ever present, just riding around in the top ten, biding his time and waiting for the right opportunity.
Just past the halfway point, Kenseth was forced to pit when he thought he had a tire going down. He lost a lap in the process and he and the crew were left to hold their collective breath, praying that the caution flag would not fly before the rest of the field made their scheduled green flag stops.
Jeff Gordon continued to lead and before we knew it, Gordon had lapped over 2/3 of the field. Next up was his teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., while running in 13th position. With just over 50 laps to go, another round of green flag stops got underway, and again, a number of drivers were penalized for pit road violations. As things cycled through, once again Jeff Gordon took over the lead.
Another caution for Kevin Conway's contact with the wall only a few laps later brought all the leaders to pit road again. Matt Kenseth had managed to regain his lost lap and was once again running in the top five, along with Jeff and Kevin Harvick.
As Canada scored the goal to win the gold medal in hockey, Jimmie Johnson got by Jeff Gordon, and took over the lead. Kevin Harvick was hot on Gordon's heels as well, followed closely by Mark Martin and Kyle Busch. With 5 laps to go, Harvick got by Jeff and set his sites on Jimmie. It had taken him so long to get by Jeff, however, that with 2 to go, it was all Jimmie. With the win, he became the all time winner on 1.5 mile tracks, breaking the tie held by himself, Jeff Gordon and the late, Dale Earnhardt. The top five was Jimmie, Kevin, Jeff, Mark and Kenseth, with no longer a rookie, Joey Logano grabbing sixth.
Jimmie showed again, he is in a class all by himself. I'm not sure what the rest of the field has to do to catch him, but they better find something fast. With two wins already in the start of the season, he has gained 20 bonus points heading into the chase, only 23 races away.