After 600 grueling miles at Charlotte Motor Speedway, one driver was celebrating his fourth career win in the Coca-Cola 600. Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson and his team on their win in the 600. It was Johnsonís seventh career win at Charlotte. With a win finally under their belt this season, the pressure is off the 48 team and that is bad news for the competition. A winning and confident Johnson is a dangerous Johnson and he is heading to some of his best tracks on the circuit, starting this week at Dover.
Dover opened as a one-mile asphalt oval in 1969 with Richard Petty taking the inaugural win in the Mason-Dixon 300. Dover was constructed with the purpose of both horse and car racing in the beginning of its existence. Two years later, all non-NASCAR sanctioned motorsports events were eliminated so the track could focus on the two 500-mile races on the NASCAR schedule. In 1983, Bobby Allison claimed his seventh win at Dover, a record that would stand until last fall when Johnson won his eighth race. Petty tied Allisonís record a year later in 1984. It was Pettyís first win of the 1984 season and the 199th win of his career. In 1995, Dover became the second track to have an all-concrete surface after Bristol made the switch in 1992. Kyle Petty won the first race on the new surface in June 1995. Starting with the 1997 fall race, the distances at Dover were reduced by 100 miles, from 500 miles to 400 miles which is the distance today.
Defending Winner: Tony Stewart took advantage of a late-race restart penalty by Jimmie Johnson to claim his first and only win of the 2013 season. The win gave Stewart at least one win every season for the fifteenth straight year.
Most wins among active drivers: Jimmie Johnson (eight)
Prediction: Jimmie Johnson. He just picked up his first win of the season and now he heads to the track where he is the winningest active driver. He dominated this race last year and had it in the bag before a late-race penalty cost him the win. He bounced back in the fall to pick up his eighth win in Delaware and with the first win behind him, heís hungry to prove the 48 truly is back and ready to claim more wins.
David Barr is a graduate of Daniel Boone School District and Mansfield University.