Lowe's recap: Johnson highest finisher in 13th
CONCORD, N.C. (May 25, 2009) – Jimmie Johnson was Hendrick Motorsports’ top finisher during Monday’s rain-shortened 600-mile event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
The 600-mile event, the longest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, was moved to Monday after rain soaked the area on Sunday. The green flag dropped at noon on Monday, and the field managed to race 227 laps in between two rain delays. Johnson, who led six laps, finished 13th in his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet. He was followed by teammate Jeff Gordon in 14th. Mark Martin crossed the finish line 17th, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, finished 40th.
Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, maintains his lead atop the driver standings, while Johnson remains fourth. Martin is 12th, and Earnhardt ranks 19th.
Johnson, who lined up fifth in a specially painted No. 48 Chevrolet for Monday’s event, ran in the top five for a majority of the day. On Lap 226, during what became the final pit stop of the event, Johnson took four tires, while the rest of the leaders took two or simply stayed out on the track. He returned to the field in 13th.
“It wasn’t quite how we wanted things to turn out,” Johnson said. “We were up front for most of the race but battled loose, then tight conditions during the last run. I think we would have been fine if we would have had some more laps. I know we did everything we could to get it in. I appreciate the fans who struck around and watched on television. We really wanted to get the Lowe’s Impala into Victory Lane for Memorial Day and especially for the 12,000 employees who were on our car.”
Martin, who lined up fourth for Monday’s race, also stopped for four tires. Martin finished 17th.
“Man, I wish we could’ve gotten that race restarted,” Martin said afterward. “The CARQUEST/Kellogg’s Chevrolet was so good. Much better than 17th. I messed up on that early pit stop, and that put us back farther than we ever should have been. The guys worked really hard to get us back up there. We just needed about 25 more green-flag laps. I’m really disappointed that we didn’t get back out there.”