Jimmie Johnson joins an elite list of racing legends who have won four races at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Johnson’s hero growing up in California was Indy car racer 4-time Indy 500 winner, Rick Mears.
“I was just hoping to race here sometime, “said Johnson. “To come here and win is a huge honor.”
Huge was the leads he was able to build after each restart.
“I didn’t know you could go around that fast,” said second place finisher Kyle Busch. “He [Johnson] was in a different country.”
Jimmie Johnson dominated large portions of the 2012 Brickyard 400. Many times he was able to build a 2 second or greater leads. He crossed the finish line almost a full straight-a-way ahead of Kyle Busch who finished in second place.
“My car was so fast,” said Johnson. “I was able to get a great restarts.”
“Our team came in energized,” said Jimmie Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus. “We used the same car we won at Dover [earlier this year]. It was a fantastic weekend.
Greg Biffle came in third but we was in a different zip code behind according to Kyle Busch.
Dale Earnhardt Jr had a great finish in fourth after starting 20th position.
“We had a 4th to 8th place car,” said Earnhardt Jr. “We would like to win more races. I know our fans would like that.”
And the other NASCAR 4-time winner at Brickayrd, Jeff Gordon, came in 5th.
Polesitter Denny Hamlin led the first 26 laps but had some trouble on restarts and did not threaten for the lead again. He finished in 6th position.
Carl Edwards started on front row before having engine problems. He finished 29th.
NASCAR Sprint Car points leader Matt Kenseth got caught up in accident on lap . He finished 35and lost points lead.
Ken Schrader finished 30th position after starting in 42nd.
Besides Jeff Gordon, Johnson joins Indy car racers A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears with four wins. Michael Schumacher won the United States Grand Prix Formula One race five times at the IMS Grand Prix road course.
Now Johnson will begin his effort to become the first driver to win five races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I would love to be a five time champion here,” said Johnson.
But for now he will concentrate on the NASCAR championship and cherish the moment.
“I can remember watching the ‘500’ on the couch with my grandfather and I remember him telling me he came to Indy. It is nice to create my own family memories here.”
Story and Photos by: Kevin Proot and Larry Vancil