Johnson, Hendrick end drought talk
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Jimmie Johnson was struggling most of the season. He and the No. 48 Lowe’s team were making uncharacteristic mistakes along pit road and elsewhere. It seemed like another failed run at a seventh Cup title. No more. Johnson scored a dominating victory at Charlotte on Sunday, breaking a winless streak at 24 races. He has led the most laps in the Chase so far.
“Nobody has to remind me that we hadn’t won a race,” team owner Rick Hendrick said after Sunday’s race. “You guys remind me of that every weekend, and they do on TV. I think we were washed up and should have quit. But it kind of motivated us, and you know, Jimmie just lacked speed through the middle part and early part of the year. Just had to work really hard to gain it back.” Daytona track OK: You may have been shocked by pictures of flooding at Daytona International Speedway a few days ago, remnants of Hurricane Matthew.
Not to worry. Those images were from 2009, track officials said in a statement:
The track “experienced moderate damage from Hurricane Matthew with impacts to lights, speakers, signage, fences, gates, awnings and palm trees ... Pictures of a past weather event at Daytona International Speedway have been circulating on social media. There was no flood damage to the facility from Hurricane Matthew.
“We are working with local, regional and state officials on recovery efforts following Hurricane Mat- Jimmie Johnson celebrates in Victory Lane with his wife, Chandra, and daugh- thew. Daytona International Speedway is once again serving as a staging site for Florida Power & Light crews.” Stewart legal update: Litigation issues have yet to be resolved for the incident resulting in the death of 20- year- old sprint- car driver Kevin Ward Jr. in August 2014. Some depositions are still needed before a trial date can be set for the wrongful- death case brought by his parents against Tony Stewart. That won’t happen until the summer of 2017, at the earliest.
The deadline for motions asking the judge to rule on the case before trial was moved back from Feb. 8 to May 31 during a recent status conference in federal court in Utica, N.Y.
Stewart has said that he did not see Ward Jr. until just before Stewart’s sprint car struck him in a race after Ward Jr. had scrambled out of his car, upset about an incident with Stewart on the previous lap.