Here are four storylines from Sunday’s NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
1. J.J. leads the way. For the fourth time in his career, Jimmie Johnson drove his No. 48 car to Victory Lane at the Brickyard. In a dominant performance, he led 99 of the 160 laps. Each of the previous three times, he has gone on to win the championship. On winning for the fourth time at Indy, Johnson said he was at a “loss for words.” Why couldn’t Tony Stewart have won; at least we would’ve gotten a juicy soundbite or two.
2. Look who’s leading the points. That would be the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet. His last name is Earnhardt. Dale Jr. vaulted into the lead with a 4th place finish on Sunday, the third time in the last four races he’s finished in that position. This is the first time he’s led the standings since October of 2004. So his legion of fans can exhale, for one week anyway.
3. Look who’s no longer leading the points. That would be Matt Kenseth. He got caught up in a three-car wreck on Lap 132. Joey Logano started it by spinning out, bouncing off the wall and collecting Kenseth and Bobby Labonte. Kenseth’s car caught fire. He was able to get out unharmed. But the damage had been done: he finished 35th, his worst showing of the season.
4. Cousin Carl’s in trouble. This was Carl Edwards’ first race with his new crew chief, Chad Norris. If the driver of the No. 99 was hoping for a spark, he didn’t get it. Edwards finished 29th, and is in danger of missing the Chase. He only has one top ten finish in the last seven races. Remember, he was one point away from winning the championship last year.
Next week: the second race of the season at the “Tricky Triangle:” Pocono Raceway.