Jimmie Johnson outran Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. on an overtime restart and was declared the winner of the Cup race at Dover International Speedway after a large wreck unfolded on the backstretch.
It’s Johnson’s third win of the year and his 83rd Cup win, tying him with childhood hero Cale Yarborough.
“I never thought I would end up here in NASCAR as a kid racing out in the dirt out in Southern California,” Johnson told Fox Sports 1. “To be here to tie him at 83 wins … Cale, you’re the man. Thank you for all that you’ve done for the sport. … This is an amazing day.”
Johnson finished his Victory Lane interview by donning a vintage Cale Yarborough racing hat.
The win comes after Johnson had to start the day in last for a gear change.
“The conditions were really tough today,” Johnson said. “I think everybody struggled with balance, corner entry was very uncomfortable for the cars. Mine was decent. Once I got to the top two or three I just couldn’t charge the corner hard enough to catch anybody and put a competitive pass on them. I got the restart of my life there at the end. I was able to just beat the (Larson) through (Turns) 1 and 2 and I guess make it to that line on the back straightaway before the yellow came out.”
Johnson started second on the overtime restart and had completed the pass of Kyle Larson by Turn 1. Johnson had crossed the overtime line when the nine-car wreck began halfway down the backstretch.
Filling out the top five were Larson, Truex, Newman and Chase Elliott.
Johnson’s win is his 11th at Dover International Speedway.
Stage 1 winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Stage 2 winner: Truex
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Rookie Ty Dillon led 27 laps late in the race after beating Johnson and Ryan Newman out of the pits in the middle of the final stage. He placed 14th … Danica Patrick finished 10th for her best result this year and her first top 10 since the April 2015 race at Bristol … A week after his Coke 600 win, Austin Dillon finished 12th … Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th for his third best result of the year … Chase Elliott’s finish in fifth is his best result in five races. He placed 24th or worse in four straight races.
WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Pole-sitter Kyle Busch lost a tire on his first pit stop and restarted from the rear from the field. After driving back to the top five, a loose tire forced him to pit. He finished 16th … Right-front tires: the loss of this tire caused accidents or problems for Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Joey Logano, Landon Cassill, Regan Smith, David Ragan and Erik Jones … Ryan Blaney finished 32nd after he broke an axle during his pit stop at the end of Stage 2. That’s the second time it’s happened to Blaney this season … Brad Keselowski wrecked out for his third DNF of year and second in a row … Kurt Busch wrecked out with his first DNF since Martinsville.
NOTABLE: Kyle Larson has finished second five times this year. He has three top fives and five top 10s in seven Dover starts … Johnson joins Richard Petty (four tracks) and Darrell Waltrip (two tracks) as the third driver to win more than 10 times on a single track.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He did a good job. He’s a seven-time champion for a reason. He’s got a golden horseshoe somewhere; and he’s really good at executing. So, I’ve just got to get better at that.” – Kyle Larson after finishing second to Jimmie Johnson.
WHAT’S NEXT: Axalta Presents the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway, 3 p.m. ET on June 11 on Fox Sports 1.