style, his winning,” Johnson continued. “I think my grandfather — there was something about his personality that carried over and between all those is why I was drawn to him.”
Daniel Suarez finished sixth with Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick rounding out the top 10.
Pole sitter Kyle Busch led the first 18 laps before a caution, but his chance for victory took an early hit when he left rear tires came off after his pit stop, damaging his quarter panel. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led for three laps, then Truex took the point for 28 laps. Stenhouse hit the wall to bring out the caution on lap 48.
Larson took over the lead for the next 31 laps, and he was ahead of two incidents. The first came when Stenhouse hit the wall a second time, ending his day.
On the ensuing restart, Kurt Busch, running in second, spun in turn one on lap 66 and collected fourth place Brad Keselowski. The crash ended Keselowski’s day, and led to another wreck by Kurt Busch on lap 96, ending his day.
Before Kurt Busch’s wreck, Truex reclaimed the lead, and went on to win stage one. By the end of the first stage, Johnson had moved up to fifth.
In stage two, Larson showed his strength, leading 84 laps, but he was passed by Truex on lap 212. Truex went on to take stage two, but Larson would return to the point on lap 244.
Larson said this was the best car he has ever had at Dover.
“This place is hard,” he said. “I don’t think you ever really feel perfect here.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t win, but I’m proud of the effort that our team put in and proud of myself for the effort I put in most of the race. Just got to get better.”
The race completion changed on lap 331 when the caution flew during green flag pit stops. Before the caution, Larson led comfortably over Truex and Elliott, but the trio pitted, losing a lap to Johnson who had yet to pit when the caution flew.
After the remaining drivers pitted, Ty Dillon led, with Ryan Newman in second, Johnson in third and Austin Dillon in fourth.
With 51 laps to go, Johnson went low of Newman coming off turn two but got loose, allowing Larson to dive underneath heading into turn three. The two raced side-by-side through three and four and down the front straightaway. Larson and Johnson touched heading into one, but Johnson got the rocket launch from the high side, clearing Larson and getting alongside Newman for second.
Johnson passed Newman and set his sights on Ty Dillon. With 42 to go, Johnson wiggled loose behind Ty Dillon, and Larson used his momentum to pass Johnson for second. Larson then went to the high side to pass Ty Dillon with 39 laps to go.
Jimmie Johnson celebrates his 11th career victory at Dover International Speedway Sunday, June 4, in victory lane.