Lugnuts: Horrible Day for Hendrick Motorsports
Jeff Gordon's 24 car was destroyed before the race really even got going. Kasey Kahne was six seconds ahead of his closest competitor when a tire blew and he hit the turn one wall in a fiery crash. Junior Nation was on the edge of their seat thinking that their driver was going to win at Michigan once again before his engine blew and smoke started pouring out of the 88 like a chimney. Everybody knew Jimmie Johnson had the fastest car in Michigan but his quest for his second straight win, and first at Michigan, ended when he lost a tire in turn two with three to go. Sunday in Michigan was one of the worst days in recent memory for Hendrick Motorsports.
For a team that has been so dominant for so long, it is hard to fathom that they had all these issues on Sunday. It just doesn't happen for Hendrick Motorsports. Nobody would have been surprised if Johnson won his second straight race and finally busted his amazing winless streak at Michigan. It normally isn't a shock when someone blows a tire during a race, especially on a high speed race track. But it's incredibly shocking when it's Johnson in the wall from it. That sort of stuff just doesn't happen to his team. And Hendrick as a collective just doesn't have the days it had yesterday.
It's hard to remember the last time Hendrick Motorsports as a collective had such a bad day. The last one I can think of was the 2011 Daytona 500. Mark Martin, Johnson, and Gordon were all involved in the big wreck on lap 29. Earnhardt also crashed late in the race. Earnhardt finished 24th, Johnson 27th, and Gordon 28th. But amazingly the day wasn't as bad as it seemed. Martin may have been involved in that crash but he still came back to get a top 10 finish.
Most of the time when Hendrick Motorsports has a bad day, it's not as bad as it seems, like in 2011 in Daytona. Sunday in Michigan was truly bad.
Greg Biffle was able to hold off Jimmie Johnson for the win and in doing so he gave Ford it's 1,000th NASCAR victory.
Ford's first win came in 1949 when Jim Roper won in a Lincoln. Ford's first Sprint Cup Series win came one year later when Jimmy Florian won at Dayton Speedway in Ohio.
"Here we are in the summer of 2013 celebrating Henry Ford's 150th birthday, and in the same year we are celebrating our 1,000th win in NASCAR," said Jamie Allison, the director of Ford Racing. "We all know how Ford Motor Company started, and I think reaching this milestone really honors the spirit of what Henry Ford started."
Roush-Fenway Racing has been responsible for 313 of Ford's 1,000 wins.
"It's over 50 years and we've been involved just over half that time," said Jack Roush, "and there have been a lot of great teams and a lot of great drivers that have been part of that, and we're just glad and honored to be a part of that history."