from the Crossville Chronicle – Crossville, Tn. Wednesday September 12, 2007
By Joe Dunn / email@example.com
(RICHMOND, VA) – Like his teammate the day before, Jimmie Johnson started on the pole for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway and turned that into another big win.
Jeff Gordon took the lead on the first lap and held it for 22 laps, until a round of pit stops under the yellow flag. After the field settled out, it was Ryan Newman leading the way until a lap 60 caution brought out by Scott Riggs. After the pit stops Gordon took the lead again. From that point it was all Gordon and Johnson pacing the field.
By lap 187 Carl Edwards blew by Gordon and began running a way from the pack, but it was a short rein as Edwards Ford went up in smoke on lap 180. The blown engine spelled an early night for Edwards, but he was already locked into the Chase.
It was an action-packed event throughout the 400 laps, with a dozen cautions including several multi-car accidents that eliminated numerous drivers, including Juan Pablo Montoya, Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray. Johnson finally got the lead on lap 347 and he ran away from the field all the way. Behind him raged on a fierce battle between Gordon, Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt entered the race with the slimmest of chances to make the 12 car Chase to the Championship. To make the Chase he needed to lead the most laps and win and then have either Kevin Harvick or Kurt Busch finish 32nd or worse. Busch and Harvick both finished in the top 10 as Earnhardt lost an engine with just seven laps remaining in the race.
Finishing behind Johnson were Tony Stewart, David Ragan, with his best ever Cup finish, Jeff Gordon and Johnny Sauter fifth. Denny Hamlin, Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch and JJ Yeley rounded out the top 10.
The Series heads to New Hampshire to start the 10 race Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship to be decided among the top 12 in points. The points for the top 12 will be reset before New Hampshire and with the bonus points for wins, Jimmie Johnson will lead the pack. The top 12 as set by bonus points are; Johnson (6 wins), Jeff Gordon (4 wins), Tony Stewart (3 wins), Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch (2 wins each), Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr and Kevin Harvick (each with 1 win) and Clint Bowyer starting 12th with no wins.