IN THE DRAFT: Black Sunday for No. 48
Have you ever experienced something and had to ask yourself if that really happened because you couldn't believe you had just witnessed it?
I think of the Hindenburg or the Edmund Fitzgerald, and now Jimmie Johnson getting black flagged, what could happen next?
I was watching the race Sunday, or should I say it was on. Early on it was a parade of Toyotas. For too long they occupied the first five spots and I had resigned myself to a nap. When I woke up, the complexion had completely changed and Jimmie Johnson was dominating.
The early leading Toyotas were nowhere to be found. Matt Kenseth was gone. Denny Hamlin had hit the wall and Kyle Busch had some trouble. The only threat for Toyota was Clint Bowyer and he was riding around in sixth.
With 20 laps to go is when the moment to remember happened. Juan Pablo Montoya is leading as they are ready to go green after a caution. He is on the outside just like everyone else had done all day. Johnson is second on the inside and for some reason he jumps the restart. He gets 10 to 15 car lengths ahead before the unthinkable. He gets black flagged!
I could not believe NASCAR did it. They did that to Johnson and to a Hendrick car? NASCAR had no choice. Montoya was slow to start but the leader can dictate the start; he is supposed to be leading when they get to the start/finish line and he never had that chance. I don't know if he spun his tires, or if he just forgot how to act when he is leading, but for whatever reason Montoya benefitted from Johnson's mistake.
Juan Pablo could not hold the lead. Tony Stewart passed him with three laps to go to win for the first time this season. Stewart has been bad all year but that team stuck it out and was able to put it together just long enough for a victory.
With the win Stewart moved into 16th in the point standings but more importantly it was a win. That could get him into the Chase because he is the only driver with a win after the top 10. Is he lucky or good? You don't win championships by being just good, you have to have some luck, too!
It's on to the hills of Pocono. Hamlin needs a win to join Stewart and this is one of Hamlin's best tracks. I doubt there will be anything special to create another memory, but I probably won't sleep through this one anyway. See you after Pocono!