Jimmie Johnson started from the back of the pack for Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover, but by the time the checkered flag came out, Johnson was leading the 39-car field.
Johnson passed Kyle Larson to win his 11th Dover race, darting down the inside of the No. 42 Chevrolet driver following an overtime restart. He led just seven laps to Larson’s race-high 241, but as the old adage goes, Johnson led the only lap that mattered.
The overtime win was Johnson’s 11th victory at Dover and his 83rd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win – tying him with Cale Yarborough on the all-time NASCAR wins list.
“To be here and tie him at 83 wins is amazing,” Johnson said. “We just got the tribute helmet. I wasn’t sure how quickly we’d be, or if we’d be able to go there, and get it done. But, Cale, you’re the man. Thank you for all you have done for our sport.”
If it weren’t for the final caution, which came out when David Ragan crashed with four to go, Larson may have won the race. His car failed to get going properly on the restart, forcing him to quickly fade as Johnson built a gap and took the win while the majority of the field wrecked behind them.
“Obviously I didn’t need that last caution,” Larson said. “Yeah, I mean, Jimmie is the best of our time, probably the best of all time. He just has obviously a lot more experience than I do out on the front row late in races and executed a lot better than I did. I’ve got to get better at that and maybe get some more wins.”
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