DOVER, Del. – Jimmie Johnson held off a teammate, passed a pair of Hall of Famers and dominated once more at Dover International Speedway.
Johnson’s latest victory put the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup field on notice that his run at a sixth championship in the No. 48 car is gaining steam. Johnson never let Dale Earnhardt Jr. catch him down the stretch Sunday and won for a record eighth time in Dover.
Johnson had shared the mark of seven victories on the concrete mile with Bobby Allison and Richard Petty.
“Truthfully, it was the first thought that went through my mind when I crossed the finish line,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t long after I thought about the impact of winning in the Chase.”
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Johnson is second, eight points behind Matt Kenseth, in the 13-driver Chase with seven of the 10 races left.
“You’ve got to win when you’re at your best track,” Johnson said. “We had to win here today.”
Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., finished ninth in the AAA 400 and Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw was 13th.
Biffle dropped from fifth to sixth in the Chase standings and Kahne is 13th.
Earnhardt, who started from the pole and was seeking his first victory of the season, finished 0.446 seconds behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Johnson.
“We left everybody in the mirror. We were clicking off some laps,” Earnhardt said. “But just not fast enough to get to Jimmie.”
• John Force won the Funny Car division of the NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, Ill. Other category winners were Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).