Stop me if you've heard this one before: Jimmie Johnson dominated Sunday at the Dover International Speedway en route to another triumph at the Monster Mile.
History indeed did repeat itself again - for a record ninth time - as Johnson won the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks. It is his second win of 2014, following up his Coca-Cola 600 triumph last Sunday, and the 68th of his career. With his second-straight win - the 13th time in his career the Hendrick Motorsports chauffeur has won consecutive races - Johnson clinches a berth in the 11th edition of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, continuing his stretch as the only man to qualify for the Chase each year.
Polesitter Brad Keselowski struggled early but rallied for a second-place finish, ahead of Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, and Denny Hamlin. Martin Truex Jr. took sixth, the best performance of the year thus far for the starcrossed Furniture Row Racing outfit. Defending race champ Tony Stewart was seventh, with Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Paul Menard completing the top-10. Phenom Kyle Larson finished 11th, leading the way among the rookies.
One driver who was nowhere near the front at the race's conclusion was Kyle Busch. His pursuit of his second Triple Sweep of Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck races at the same track in the same week (and his first true "weekend sweep") started out well enough, as he passed Keselowski on the start and led the opening 81 laps before ceding to Johnson. Busch never reclaimed the lead and saw his dreams for the day dashed completing lap 123 as Bowyer slid across his nose and pushed the No. 18 Camry into the wall off turn four. Busch retired to the garage, ending his afternoon.
The race had the oddity of two red flags in a single event. The first was for cleanup following a nasty accident off turn two involving Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on lap 134. A.J. Allmendinger clipped the nose of Stenhouse's Ford, then caught the left rear of Biffle's machine. Biffle slammed the outside wall and was rear-ended Stenhouse, knocking both drivers out of contention. Biffle returned to finish 38th, 108 laps in arrears to Johnson, while his Roush-Fenway Racing teammate was done for the day.
The second took a bit longer, as a patch of concrete on the exit of turn two worked its way loose. Jamie McMurray's number popped up on the roulette wheel, as he struck the debris and knocked the chunk out of the track. After the repairs to the track were completed, McMurray's team did likewise with the hole in the nose of his Chevrolet. Miraculously, he recovered to record a 13th-place finish.
Kenseth overhauled Gordon for the Sprint Cup point lead, now leading by two points. Kenseth still lacks a victory through the first 13 races of the season after leading the circuit with seven trophies in 2013, but he is still in prime position to qualify for another Chase courtesy of the provisional afforded the regular season point leader.
The conclusion of the event concludes NASCAR on FOX's 14th season of coverage. Turner Sports takes over in Pocono for its final six races before it leaves the sport as the new TV deal takes effect in 2015.