David Yeazell Associated Press Denny Hamlin (11) hits the wall and involves Kasey Kahne (back) and David Blaney. Greg Biffle (16) escapes the mayhem.

Johnson's win has a ring of history

Published: Sunday, Jul. 7, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 8C
Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 8, 2013 - 9:06 am

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jimmie Johnson won a wreck-filled Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, becoming the first driver to sweep both Daytona races since Bobby Allison did it in 1982.

"I don't think I made a bad move tonight. I'm pretty proud of that," said Johnson, the Sprint Cup points leader. "Gosh, growing up in Southern California and watching Bobby Allison … to do anything Bobby has done is pretty special."

Johnson won in a green-white-checkered flag finish, despite two accidents breaking out behind him on the final lap. He finished ahead of Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip.

The first wreck on the last lap occurred in Turn 1, the second one on the front stretch as cars approached the finish line.

Another big crash had just come on Lap 150. It involved several cars, including Denny Hamlin, AJ Allmendinger, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and David Reutimann.

Hamlin appeared to start the wreck on the front stretch, when he lost control and hit the wall. Hamlin's Toyota got airborne, as did Kenseth's, farther down the track.

"I think I showed strength early," said Johnson, who won for a fourth time this season. "There were a lot of guys who were willing to work with me. I don't know if I made a bad move tonight."

Kyle Busch dominated the early part of the race and led until Paul Menard's engine blew on Lap 23 for the event's first caution. Menard had finished all 17 previous races this season.

"I haven't had a motor failure in forever," said Menard, who started sixth and was running third at the time. "We were just kind of biding time there, and it gave no indication, absolutely no warning."

Johnson took the lead on Lap 33 and led for the next 70 laps. Kasey Kahne stayed right behind him as drivers tried to figure out whether the low or high lines worked best. At that point, the bottom of the track seemed to work best.

The race's biggest wreck came on Lap 98, when Martin Truex Jr. got loose in Turn 4, sweeping along Kyle Busch, Hamlin and Juan Pablo Montoya. Truex hit the inside wall in Turn 4 hard.

Kurt Busch finished sixth, with Jamie McMurray, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Casey Mears and rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounding out the top 10.

IndyCar in Long Pond, Pa. – Andretti Autosport made it a 1-2-3 start – with local star Marco Andretti leading the way – to create quite a splash as the IndyCar Series returned to Pocono Raceway for the first time since 1989.

IndyCar is using three-wide starts at Pocono, making it an all-Andretti front row on a track not far from where one of racing's greatest families has lived for decades.

Andretti didn't just win the pole, he smashed the track record. His two-lap average speed of 221.273 mph was fast enough for the pole and knocked Emerson Fittipaldi's speed of 211.715 in 1989 out of the top spot.

Andretti teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay (second) and James Hinchcliffe (third) complete the front row.

Formula One in Nuerburgring, Germany – Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes earned the pole position for today's German Grand Prix, edging Red Bull's three-time defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel.

It was Hamilton's second consecutive pole and third of the season. Marc Webber in the second Red Bull was third in qualifying, with the Lotus duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean next.

NHRA in Norwalk, Ohio – Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta earned his fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season and 36th of his career and will try for his first victory of 2013 at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals.

John Force (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also will lead their categories as No. 1 qualifiers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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