Friday, July 20, 2018
Sports

Jimmie Johnson back at Dover, where he's a 10-time Sprint Cup winner

DOVER, Del. — Jimmie Johnson fell in love with Dover the first time he turned a lap at the track in the late 1990s.

He can't quit it, even when it left him with a broken car part.

Johnson's 2015 championship hopes were over at Dover — but not because of a wreck, a blown engine or a mistake on pit road.

A busted right rear axle seal sent the No. 48 into the garage and knocked him out of title contention. Johnson's bid for a record-tying seventh championship came to a shocking end when he finished 41st and failed to advance to the second round of the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship.

The faulty finish was a rare misstep at his favorite track. Johnson has a record 10 wins at Dover, dominating the mile concrete track like no other driver.

But the last race here was the worst one for Johnson — and he has tried to focus on the 10 victories rather than the one that got away.

"You're going to have bad experiences at all tracks," Johnson said. "Drivers are going to make mistakes even if it's at their favorite track. It doesn't matter. My love for this track … it's still just as cool now as it ever has been."

Johnson, the Hendrick Motorsports driver, won the spring race last year at the "Monster Mile," placing him among a small group of drivers who have won 10 races at a single track — all the others are NASCAR Hall of Famers. Richard Petty won 15 times at Martinsville and the defunct North Wilkesboro, 13 at Richmond, 11 at Rockingham and 10 at Daytona; Darrell Waltrip earned 12 victories at Bristol, 11 at Martinsville and 10 at North Wilkesboro; Dale Earnhardt had 10 wins at Talladega and David Pearson had 10 at Darlington.

Johnson swept Dover in 2002 and 2009 and also won races in 2005, '10, '12, '13 and '14.

"We definitely get fired up knowing this one is coming up," Johnson said.

Rain wiped out qualifying, so Johnson will start 21st in today's AAA 400 based on his practice speed.

"We didn't have the speed we wanted, (so) it adds actually more frustration than it would at a normal track," he said. "Because we are like, 'Man, this is our place, this is where we run well, why are we off?' It has many pros, but there are some cons that exist with a track that you've been so good at."

Johnson has been good — great, mostly — at just about every track and has wins this season at Atlanta and Fontana that already earned him a berth in the Chase.

"Well, he sure has won a lot. That guy is doing pretty good in this sport," Team Penske driver Joey Logano said.

Comments
Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome shoots 78 in PGA Tour debut

Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome shoots 78 in PGA Tour debut

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome survived her first round on the PGA Tour at the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Ky., on Thursday, and she can't wait to do it again Friday.Though Lincicome shot 6-over 78 and will likely miss the cut — she ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Longtime Tampa Catholic athletic director Nick DiMaggio dies

Longtime Tampa Catholic athletic director Nick DiMaggio dies

Nick DiMaggio, the longtime athletic director at Tampa Catholic who was a fixture at the school's sporting events for more than 50 years, died Wednesday (July 18, 2018) from complications related to a stroke. He was 86."Nick was an icon, a walking en...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin: Rays should trade Chris Archer

Marc Topkin: Rays should trade Chris Archer

ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer wants the Rays to get going.Trade more veterans. Bring back Willy Adames and bring up the next group of kids. Get on with getting better, and get back to reaching the postseason, as they did four times over six yea...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, July 20

TODAYAction sportsX Games9 p.m.ESPNArena FootballPhiladelphia at Baltimore7 p.m.CBSSNAutosMonster Energy Cup: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 qualifying4:30 p.m.NBCSNBaseballCardinals at Cubs2 p.m.MLBMarlins at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun, FSF; 620-AMMets at Yankee...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida State defensive forecast not that simple

Florida State defensive forecast not that simple

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — His debut at the ACC kickoff attracted a wholly unsurprising assortment of topics. New FSU coach Willie Taggart was asked about his culture, his quarterbacks, his catch phrases.He handled each question deftly, hardly devi...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: Catcher needed with Wilson Ramos on DL

Rays journal: Catcher needed with Wilson Ramos on DL

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays did not have any answers Thursday about the state of their catching situation as to how long Wilson Ramos will be out and who will be added to replace him Friday against the Marlins.Ramos was placed on the DL Wednesday...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Quarterback rankings: The best seasons in Buccaneers history

Quarterback rankings: The best seasons in Buccaneers history

It was Dec. 20, 1981, the final Sunday of the NFL regular season, and the NFC Central title was on the line. The Buccaneers were in Detroit, where the Lions hadn’t lost all season.The Lions, who were favored by a touchdown, took a 7-3 lead in t...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Judge grants ex-girlfriend’s restraining order against ex-Plant QB Robert Marve

Judge grants ex-girlfriend’s restraining order against ex-Plant QB Robert Marve

PLANT CITY — Robert Marve hesitated to get out of his attorney’s car when they pulled into the parking lot of the Plant City Courthouse on Thursday afternoon. The former Plant High and University of Miami quarterback was there to plead no contest to ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Willie Taggart: Francois’ offseason problems are ‘behind us’

Willie Taggart: Francois’ offseason problems are ‘behind us’

FSU coach Willie Taggart indicated Thursday the tumultuous offseason of QB Deondre Francois won't factor in to his quest for the starting job when preseason camp commences next month."He's handled his consequences behind that, and he's moved on," Tag...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Dolphins anthem punishment includes suspensions

Dolphins anthem punishment includes suspensions

Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the national anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued this week.The "Proper Anthem Conduct" section is just one sentence in a nine-page discipline document provid...
Updated: 10 hours ago