Jimmie Johnson had the dominant car, and team, Sunday at Kansas Speedway. His Lowes Chevy was out front on 197 of the 272 laps that were completed in the Hollywood Casino 400. JJ now sits just four points out of first place in his march towards his sixth straight title.
Johnson stunk it up at the 1.5 mile, cookie cutter, Kansas track, as he led most of the green flag laps. Two tires, or four, it mattered not to the #48, no one could head him off.
Brad Keselowski was 3rd after winning the first race here earlier this year. RFR drivers, Matt Kenseth (4), Carl Edwards (5), and, pole winner, Greg Biffle (8) had solid finishes. RCR pilots, Kevin Harvick (6), and Clint Bowyer (7) likewise had good runs.
This race was one of the most boring of the year, and so far the four races in the Chase have not been too competitive. One reason is that we are not seeing enough caution flags to reset the field once it gets strung out around the track. One popular theory is that the Goodyear tires are so well made now that we don't see as many blowouts and the accompanying cautions.
I would expound on that theory and add a related factor. The idiotic "wave around" rule allows a lot of cars to not punish their tires while trying to stay on the lead lap. The slower drivers know that between the "lucky dog" and the "wave around" they can lose three or four laps during a race, never pass the leader, and, viola, cruise to a top-15, lead lap, finish.
Don't worry, he'll get a few wave arounds
NASCAR told one RCR driver, Austin Dillon, to stop pushing another RCR driver, Kevin Harvick, during a late race caution. Harvick had his engine shut off, trying to save gas, while Dillon was pushing him. NASCAR's rules supposedly state that you can't push/assist another car on the last lap only. Apparently, NASCAR changed rules during the race... again.
Jeff Gordon, thanks for playing The NASCAR Chase 2011! You didn't win immunity and have been voted off the island. Kyle Busch, please report to the council next week, and don't forget your luggage.