CP MOTORSPORTS - SPONGE BOB 400 NOTEBOOK, KANSAS CITY
FINAL NOTEBOOK - JOHNSON PLAYS THE PIT ROAD ROULETTE AND WINS
Gambling paid off for Jimmie Johnson.
The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and crew chief Chad Knaus decided to stay on the race track when others pitted. Allowing him to break away from the field and win Saturday night's rain-delayed Spongebob Squarepants 400 from Kansas Speedway. The rain started 98 laps into the race and brought out a red flag which lasted for over two hours.
Johnson entered the race virtually locked into 2015's Chase for the Championship with two wins on the 2015 which allowed the #48 Lowe's team to remain aggressive both on the track and in strategy.
"We gambled with our pit call and had just enough time to get to the finish line before the #4 (Harvick) on his new tires could get to us," Johnson said. "Well played. In some ways, we fought really hard to get to Victory Lane but it's fun to win one gambling. We haven't really gambled before and won, so it feels a little different. It's pretty cool to have that come together."
The win is Johnson's third on the young 2015 season and his third at Kansas Speedway. The win is Johnson's 73rd of his career and his 23rd at a 1.5-mile track; a Sprint Cup record.
Kevin Harvick also entered the weekend with two victories and finished in second place. The finish marks eight times in which Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup champion, has finished inside the top two.
Harvick was leading the race at the time of the final caution and couldn't make up the track position on Johnson.
"In the end, the #48 (Johnson) and #88 (Dale Earnhardt, Jr) didn't have the speed, so they gambled," Harvick said. "They were able to get enough cars in between us so that we were not able to have enough laps to get around them. It's kind of a tough spot when you're leading the race to know what's right and what's wrong because you know half of them are going to come in and half of them are going to stay out."
Johnson and Harvick have won all five races held on 1.5-mile racetracks this season.
Last week's winner at Talladega, Dale Earnhardt, Jr, joined his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Johnson in gambling and didn't pit either on the final caution. Earnhardt, Jr, however, wasn't able to fend off Harvick either but still managed to finish in third place.
Jeff Gordon battled an ill-handling car all race long and pit road woes to still manage a fourth place finish. The result is the seventh top ten finish in the last eight races for the four-time Sprint Cup champion.
Polesitter Joey Logano dealt with his own set of pit road problems in a race which saw him lead 29 laps. Race officials assessed Logano with two pit road speeding penalties and at one point fell all the way to 34th. The 2015 Daytona 500 Champion, Logano, was able to salvage a fifth place finish.
Bristol winner Matt Kenseth finished in sixth place while Brad Keselowski crossed the finish line in seventh place. Kurt Busch finished eighth. Martin Truex, Jr, who led 95 of the race's 267 laps, managed just a ninth place finish.
"It's kind of disappointing but at the same time I'm proud of the way we ran and I think it's something we can build off of," Truex, Jr, said. "I felt like we were in a decent position there towards the end. I really hate when it comes down to fuel mileage, I think I'm always on the wrong end of that deal but really wish we could've raced Kevin (Harvick) for it there...It would've been fun to see if we had anything for him."
Ryan Newman rounded out the top ten.
Eighteen-year-old Erik Jones made his first career Sprint Cup start and ran up near the front for most of the race but lost control and hit the wall with 73 laps to go. Jones, who drove the #18 M&M's Red Nose Day Toyota for the injured Kyle Busch, finished in 40th place.
While Harvick continues his lead in the points standings, Johnson's three wins put him on top of the Chase for the Championship standings. Harvick's points lead is 46 points over Martin Truex, Jr, heading into next week's Sprint All-Star Race, which is not a points-eligible race.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Number 11
Unofficial Race Results for the 5Th Annual Spongebob Squarepants 400 -
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Kansas Speedway - Kansas City, KS - 1.5 Mile Paved
Total Race Length - 267 Laps - 400.5 Miles - Purse: $5,400,236
Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Pts Bns Driver Rating Winnings Status Tms Laps
1 19 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 267 47 4 104.5 $243,726 Running 1 10
2 6 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet 267 43 1 127.2 $239,300 Running 2 53
3 17 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Nationwide Chevrolet 267 41 97.9 $157,225 Running
4 11 24 Jeff Gordon American Red Cross Chevrolet 267 40 101.0 $173,786 Running
5 1 22 Joey Logano AAA Insurance Ford 267 40 1 111.1 $168,933 Running 1 29
6 18 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 267 39 1 94.9 $146,251 Running 1 1
7 3 2 Brad Keselowski Avaya Ford 267 38 1 118.4 $144,906 Running 2 43
8 8 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 267 37 1 111.0 $110,215 Running 1 20
9 4 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet 267 37 2 131.1 $122,060 Running 5 95
10 15 31 Ryan Newman Quicken Loans Chevrolet 267 34 81.0 $126,340 Running
11 14 43 Aric Almirola Farmland Ford 267 33 83.9 $130,401 Running
12 7 16 Greg Biffle Cheez-It/SpongeBob SquarePants Ford 267 32 77.1 $123,348 Running
13 9 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald's Chevrolet 267 31 92.2 $120,106 Running
14 29 47 AJ Allmendinger Dillon's/Scott Products Chevrolet 267 30 70.6 $120,548 Running
15 10 42 Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet 267 30 1 105.0 $121,398 Running 2 3
16 26 9 Sam Hornish Jr. Medallion Bank Ford 267 28 71.5 $113,410 Running
17 2 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips Chevrolet 267 27 96.6 $100,865 Running
18 22 27 Paul Menard Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet 267 26 84.5 $94,465 Running
19 24 13 Casey Mears Squidward Tentacles Chevrolet 266 25 71.4 $110,323 Running
20 5 19 Carl Edwards Stanley Toyota 266 25 1 86.0 $83,265 Running 1 12
21 21 15 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour Energy Toyota 266 23 63.8 $119,798 Running
22 28 3 Austin Dillon Dow Chevrolet 266 22 57.0 $122,226 Running
23 43 46 Michael Annett Allstate Peterbilt Group Chevrolet 266 21 50.3 $81,590 Running
24 20 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Zest Ford 266 20 62.0 $92,765 Running
25 35 83 Matt DiBenedetto Burger King Toyota 266 19 47.4 $95,398 Running
26 32 33 Ty Dillon(i) Plankton Chevrolet 266 0 60.7 $95,873 Running
27 27 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 265 17 54.4 $91,890 Running
28 40 98 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Ford 265 16 40.2 $83,590 Running
29 41 40 Landon Cassill(i) CarsforSale.com Chevrolet 265 0 44.1 $83,290 Running
30 25 51 Justin Allgaier Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet 265 14 54.0 $102,087 Running
31 30 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 265 13 52.4 $124,415 Running
32 38 38 David Gilliland MDS Ford 263 12 38.5 $90,115 Running
33 23 55 David Ragan SpongeBob SquarePants/Arn'sDrmMchn Toyota 263 11 45.5 $106,629 Running
34 39 34 Brett Moffitt # Dockside Logistics Ford 263 10 34.3 $80,690 Running
35 34 35 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 263 9 34.6 $78,970 Running
36 31 95 Michael McDowell WRL/Larry the Lobster Ford 262 8 40.4 $78,765 Running
37 37 23 JJ Yeley(i) Dr Pepper Toyota 262 0 27.3 $78,561 Running
38 42 32 Joey Gase(i) Tri State Tower Ford 262 0 31.4 $73,402 Running
39 16 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 258 5 54.1 $96,544 Running
40 12 18 Erik Jones(i) M&M's Red Nose Day Toyota 242 0 62.6 $110,321 Running 1 1
41 13 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight Toyota 205 3 68.5 $79,330 Accident
42 33 26 Jeb Burton # Maxim Fantasy Sports Toyota 153 2 24.4 $57,330 Rear Gear
43 36 7 Alex Bowman Accell Construction Chevrolet 125 1 32.0 $53,830 Vibration
Race Comments: Jimmie Johnson won the SpongeBob SquarePants 400, his 73rd victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and third at the track. Prior to the start of the race, no cars dropped to the rear of the field.
Failed to Qualify: N/A
Time of Race: 03 Hrs, 11 Mins, 50 Secs. Average Speed: 125.265 MPH Margin of Victory: 0.487 Seconds
Caution Flags: 9 for 49 laps: Laps: 9-12 (No. 23 and 26 Spin in Turn 4 [None]); 27-29 (Competition Caution ); 95-107 (No. 26 Spin in Turn 4 [Red 2:16:38] ); 121-127 (No. 55 and 98 Accident in Turn 4 ); 131-134 (No. 20 Spin in Turn 2 ); 186-190 (No. 15 and 17 Accident in Turn 4 ); 197-200 (No. 18 Accident in Turn 4 ); 209-212 (No. 9 and 11 Accident in Turn 4 ); 257-261 (No. 17 Accident in Turn 2 [None]).
Lead Changes: 16 among 10 drivers: J. Logano 1-29; K. Busch 30-49; K. Harvick 50-56; M. Truex Jr. 57-78; B. Keselowski 79-80; M. Kenseth 81; E. Jones(i) 82; M. Truex Jr. 83-121; B. Keselowski 122-162; M. Truex Jr. 163-175; C. Edwards 176-187; M. Truex Jr. 188-199; K. Larson 200; M. Truex Jr. 201-209; K. Larson 210-211; K. Harvick 212-257; J. Johnson 258-267.
Chase Grid Outlook: 1.J. Johnson 389 (3 wins);2.K. Harvick 437 (2);3.J. Logano 375 (1);4.D. Earnhardt Jr. 360 (1);5.B. Keselowski 343 (1);6.M. Kenseth 331 (1);7.D. Hamlin 284 (1);8.M. Truex Jr. 391 (0);9.J. Mcmurray 328 (0);10.J. Gordon 317 (0);11.K. Kahne 313 (0);12.A. Almirola 312 (0);13.P. Menard 306 (0);14.R. Newman 305 (0);15.C. Bowyer 272 (0);16.D. Patrick 270 (0).
3M Lap Leader : Kevin Harvick, #4 53 Laps Coors Light Pole Award : Joey Logano, #22 192.397 mph
Duralast Brakes "Brake in the Race" : Joey Logano, #22 Ingersoll Rand Power Move : Jeff Gordon, #24 8 positions
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race : Hendrick Engines, #4 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race : Kevin Harvick, #4
Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Race : Jimmie Johnson, #48 crew chief Chad Knaus, 0.650 seconds Sherwin-Williams Fastest Lap : Kyle Larson, #42
Sunoco Rookie of the Race : Brett Moffitt, #34
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
Next Race: May. 15, 2015 - Charlotte Motor Speedway
FRIDAY NOTEBOOK - CRAFTON "STEALS ONE" IN KANSAS TRUCK SERIES WIN
It pays to know your gas mileage.
Erik Jones dominated Friday night's Toyota Tundra 250 from Kansas Speedway until fuel mileage became a factor.
Jones ran out of fuel with five laps to go.
Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez also ran out of gas while leading in the final two laps of the race. Two-time reigning Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton seized the opportunity to take the checkered flag. The win is Crafton's second at Kansas Speedway in the NCWTS and the seventh victory of his Truck Series career.
"I told everybody that it's better to be lucky than good sometimes and we definitely were that tonight," Crafton admitted. "We definitely didn't have the fastest truck; I felt we had the second fastest truck and just lost track position because I had a bad vibration at one point. I took four, and a lot of people took two or no tires and got us back there. I could catch those guys, but it was just super super tough to pass.
"You've got to be close enough to sneak them out every now and then. I've lost them like this so every once in a while I steal one, I won't feel bad about it."
Jones, starting from the pole, led 151 laps, a Camping World Truck Series record on a 1.5-mile track, but managed to translate his dominance to an 11th place finish.
"It's a shame that races have to come down to fuel mileage," Jones said. "It happens so much on these tracks where the fastest trucks don't win...The fastest truck didn't win tonight."
Sprint Cup regular Ryan Newman pulled out a second-place finish. Newman, piloting the #8 Joe Nemechek entry, ran up front for the majority of the race until officials penalized him with an uncontrolled tire penalty. The penalty sent him to back of the lead lap cars with just 57 laps remaining.
"I was giving it my all and I was just so loose it took me 35 to 40 laps for me to get aggressive with the truck," Newman said. "That was too long. We tried to tighten it up and we just never really hit it with a big enough hammer. Getting those positions there on the fuel deal, they told me I was good to go so I never held back.
"Ideally, I would have liked to see a green-white-checkered."
Crafton's Thorsport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter battled engine issues late in the race but managed to bring home a third-place finish. Sauter was in a state of confusion in the race's closing laps.
"I don't feel alone then if nobody else knew what the h*** was going on," Sauter admitted. "We were decent on a short run. We saved a lot of fuel in the end, we had a miss on the motor so I didn't have a choice but to save fuel. Nonetheless a solid finish for us."
Timothy Peters and Cameron Hayley rounded out the top-five.
With the win, Crafton extends his lead in the points standings to 17 points over Tyler Reddick as the NCWTS will be back in action next Friday, May 15th at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
SAME LAGANO, DIFFERENT DAY - Qualifying for Saturday's Spongebob Squarepants 400 from Kansas Speedway ended with a familiar face leading gaining the pole position for Sunday's race.
Joey Logano recorded a fast lap of 192.397 mph, making him the only driver over the 192 mark. The pole is the fourth of the season for the 2015 Daytona 500 Champion; the most of any driver so far on the 2015 season.
"At a race track like this track position is key," Logano said. "We've all seen what clean air can do for a race car. I feel like I've got a fast AAA Fusion obviously in qualifying trim it was fast but in race trim I also feel like it's got some good speed out there."
The top starting position is Logano's first at Kansas and the 12th total pole of his career.
"It's definitely cool to get another pole," Logano added. "Last season it took us almost a whole year to get a pole. We won a bunch of first and second session but we'd fall flat on our face in the third session, so it's pretty special to figure out these third sessions and still have a lot of speed in our cars when we get to those rounds. "
Joining Logano on the front row will be Kasey Kahne by virtue of a 191.911 mph lap speed.
"Our final run was our best run of the day," Kahne admitted. "I'm happy with the car, the speed of the car, the engine, and the guys for making it better throughout the entire day. I look forward to tomorrow night; it's going to be an interesting race. I always enjoy racing here at Kansas, and we'll see what we got."
Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex, Jr, and Carl Edwards rounded out the race's top five starters.
The final Sprint Cup practice session of the weekend also took place on Friday with rookie standout Erik Jones topping the speed charts.
Jones, driving the #18 M&M's Toyota for the injured Kyle Busch, notched a fast lap of 191.306. The 18-year old Michigan native also won the pole for Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race will be making his first official Sprint Cup start on Saturday night and will start in the 12th position.
Jones is eager for the challenge of double duty at Kansas.
"It's definitely the farthest you can get in two race cars," Jones said. "It's two good race cars. We've got a good Tundra for the race tonight and a good Camry for the race tomorrow, so that helped out a lot. Kind of knowing the difference between the two cars, so you know as a driver when you're jumping back and forth. You keep that in your mind when you do it, and we're able to go back and forth and keep good speed in each one of them."
The defending race winner, Jeff Gordon, logged a fast lap of 191.184 mph making him second fastest in the session. Pole winner Joey Logano was third fastest. Martin Truex, Jr, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr, rounded out the final session top five.
Kevin Harvick, the Sprint Cup points leader entering this weekend at Kansas, was fastest in Friday afternoon's first practice with a fast lap of 190.772. The defending Sprint Cup champion set the track record during qualifying at Kansas last season at 197.612.
Logano was second fastest in Friday opening session. Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt, Jr, rounded out the session's top five fastest drivers.