Jimmie Johnson dominated again in a Chase race, sweeping the season races at Dover International Speedway in Delaware to accelerate his bid for an unprecedented fourth straight Sprint Cup title.
Johnson cut Hendrick Motorsports teammate Mark Martin’s points lead yesterday with the victory in the AAA 400 - his fourth of the year and 44th overall - in the second of 10 races in the Chase for the Championship.
“I’m pretty sure that dude is Superman,’’ Martin said. “I’ve seen that dude up close and I see why he’s so successful. He works harder at it than anybody else, I think, on the circuit.’’
No winner of the second Dover race has ever gone on to win the Cup championship. If any driver can reverse that trend, it’s Johnson. Much as he did in May, Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet was out in front for the majority of the 400-mile race.
“I certainly hope that our performance scares some people and affects them in a way that benefits us,’’ Johnson said.
Chase drivers took nine of the first 11 spots. Martin followed last week’s win at New Hampshire with a second-place finish. Juan Pablo Montoya was fourth and Kurt Busch fifth.
Matt Kenseth was the highest non-Chase driver at third.
Martin holds a 10-point lead over Johnson heading into next week’s race at Kansas Speedway.
Among other Chase drivers, Jeff Gordon finished sixth, Kasey Kahne eighth, Tony Stewart ninth, Ryan Newman 10th, Carl Edwards 11th, Greg Biffle 13th, Brian Vickers 18th, and Denny Hamlin 22d.
“It’s just two races,’’ Martin said. “I still say that there’s 12 in and 12 can win. It might be a challenge for a couple of the ones toward the end of the pack.’’
Johnson won from the pole. He led 298 laps when he won at Dover in May and added another 271 on the 1-mile concrete track yesterday for his fifth victory at Dover.
Johnson, who won for the first time since July at Indianapolis, crushed Kenseth and the rest of the contenders off the double-file restarts and was never seriously challenged.
He’s in great position, but he’s still not in first place. Even with Johnson’s 10 bonus points for winning, Martin still holds a slim lead in the Chase.
Formula One - McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton won the Singapore Grand Prix, and Brawn GP driver Jenson Button extended his championship lead by one point.
Hamilton started from the pole and protected his lead to finish 9.6 seconds ahead of Timo Glock, who equaled Toyota’s best F1 result by finishing second. Fernando Alonso gave scandal-plagued Renault a lift by finishing third for the French team’s first podium finish of the season.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel pursued Hamilton for much of the race, and closed the gap to just half a second after 37 of 61 laps. But his hopes of victory were dashed by a drive-through penalty for speeding in pit lane. He finished fourth.
Button worked his way up the field from 12th place to finish fifth, one place ahead of teammate and championship rival Rubens Barrichello. Button leads Barrichello by 15 points with three races to go.