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Monday, November 22, 2010

Hendrick does it with their heads while Johnson did it with his foot

Jimmie Johnson is quickly becoming the Yankees, Lakers, and Steelers all in one as he hoisted his unprecedented fifth Sprint Cup championship on Sunday with a second place finish at Homestead. Carl Edwards lead from almost start to finish, starting in 2nd position and leading for 190 laps for his second straight win following last week’s win in Phoenix. Johnson’s finish was more than enough to hold on to the points lead and the championship by a final margin of 39 points. What may get lost in the all the pomp and circumstance is the tough decision made by the crew chief to change the pit crews with the 24 team with two races to go, which by Johnson’s own admission was the difference maker, specifically in Sunday’s final race. One could say that for drivers who had to make up some ground, Kevin Harvick’s and Denny Hamlin’s problems exponentially increased with a poor time trial starting them well back in the pack at 28 and 37 respectively in a race where four of the top six finishers started the race within 4 places of where they began, and based on recent Homestead history, it often works that way so perhaps Harvick and Hamlin should have been more aggressive in the beginning rather than hoping for circumstance to create an opportunity for them. In retrospect it does appear that regardless of their efforts Johnson was a man of destiny and determination from the moment the flag dropped to start the season, and in addition to his performance on the track, the Hendrick team displayed their intellectual prowess as well making tough decisions in the late innings if you that made the difference and self admittedly bridged the gap between time lost on the track with time saved in the pit, and it turned out to be more than just a feather in the cap of Hendrick Motor Sports, it was a Championship Trophy as well.
Get the Homestead Final Results and stats here.
View the Final Sprint Cup standings here.

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