Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag of the Ford 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway, earning his fourth race of the season. But, Jimmy Johnson won a record fourth-consecutive Sprint Cup championship after a strong fifth-place finish.
Mark Martin, the only man who had a chance of beating Johnson for the championship, finished 12th.
As Johnson crossed the finish line, he said:
How ’bout some history?! History, boys. No one ever — ever! I don’t know how to thank you guys. Thank you so much.
Rick Hendrick was not at the track to celebrate Johnson’s championship or the Hendrick Motorsports’ sweep of the top three positions in the final standings, as he was attending to a family medical matter.
Mark Martin, who finished second in the points, said:
Heavy hearts and prayers with the boss man and the family. That sort of takes a little bit of the shine off of it. But congratulations to Hendrick Motorsports, to Jimmie Johnson — Superman — and to my team.
Jeff Gordon added:
I never thought in my career, in my lifetime, I’d see somebody win four in a row. To see it happening right in front of your eyes makes it even more extraordinary.
Top 5: Hamlin, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Johnson.
Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top 10.
Notables: Clint Bowyer (11th), Mark Martin (12th), Matt Kenseth (13th), Greg Biffle (14th), Kasey Kahne (17th), Brian Vickers (20th), Tony Stewart (22nd), Ryan Newman (23rd), Dale Earnhardt Jr (28th), and Juan Montoya (38th).
Tony Stewart and Juan Montoya mixed up on the track, letting their tempers get the best of them. On lap 114, Montoya was running high and appeared to have a run on Stewart. Stewart drifted up in front of Montoya, leading to contact.
I assume Stewart thought Montoya should have given him room, but Montoya didn’t lift, so he hit Stewart in the rear. Montoya then drove under Stewart to make the pass. Stewart, then turned into Montoya to show his displeasure.
The contact cut Montoya’s tire, sending him into the wall. Montoya had to go to the garage. When he returned to the track, he went right after Stewart, spinning him nearly 50 laps after the intial incident. Both finished outside the top 20. Montoya was penalized two laps for aggressive driving.
See part one of the incident:
See part 2 of the incident: