INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The 16th running of the Brickyard 400 saw the first repeat winner of the event. Jimmie Johnson made a furious late-race maneuver to get past Mark Martin on a restart and then held off the oldest pole winner in IMS history to claim his second 400 in two years and third of his career. Johnson led 24 laps, the last 24 of the race, to claim the victory. It is Johnson’s 43rd victory of his Sprint Cup career.
The race started off inconspicuously with Robby Gordon spinning on the exit of turn 4 at the end of the first lap to bring out the race’s first caution. Martin led the first lap and the subsequent caution laps. When the race restarted, Juan Pablo Montoya assumed the lead and established his dominance over the event. Montoya led for 26 laps until Tony Stewart assumed the lead for two laps during green-flag pit stops. When Stewart pitted, David Gilliland assume the lead for a lap before having to pit and surrendering the lead back to Montoya who continued to lead for the next 59 laps.
On a round of green-flag pit stops, Casey Mears stayed out an extra lap to get credit for leading a lap before Montoya once again assumed the point. Montoya led for 31 more laps, for a race-high total of 116, before heading to pit lane for a green-flag stop. Unfortunately for Montoya, he was too fast entering the pits and had to serve a drive-through penalty which killed his chances to win the race. Brian Vickers then led for two laps before pitting and giving the lead back to Martin. Martin led for 10 laps before he lost the lead to Johnson on the final restart of the race.
The race was slowed by three caution flags. Gordon’s spin on lap 2 was followed by Kyle Busch hitting the wall in turn 4. The final caution was on lap 129 for oil on the track. There were a total of 14 laps of caution during the race.
Montoya’s race-high 116 laps led was the third most led by a driver in the history of the Brickyard. In 1999 Dale Jarrett led 117 while Jeff Gordon led 124 laps in 2004. This is the first time in Montoya’s 93-race Cup career that he led the most laps during a race.
This race marks Johnson’s third victory of the season and his 14th top-10 finish. It is his fourth top 10 in eight starts at the Brickyard.
Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the race.
Stewart now leads the points standing by 192 points over Johnson, who move up to second, dropping Jeff Gordon to third.
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.