Sometimes when a team enters a track, it doesn't matter what the cars look like, what changes the sport has gone through, or the changes within a team. There are just certain tracks when a team arrives, they know already they will be the one to beat.
That has been the case for Jimmie Johnson at Dover since his rookie season in 2002. He won his first race at this track that season, and since then he's figured out exactly how to drive it in constantly changing cars and configuration. The track still is the same concrete look, the same groove that widens throughout the race, and the same miles in each event held.
Johnson, Chad Knaus, and team know how to win here, and now they've done so a record amount of times.
When the No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevy took the checkered flag on Sunday, it was another dominating race, leading the most laps in route to victory. It also would break a tie between him, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for wins at "The Monster Mile" with his ninth career win at the track. Simply put, this track is Johnson's house now, and he's not yielding for anyone. He just lets others play on occasion.
That win also set a record for victories in the pool, and set new milestones. Six writers, half the field, were victorious with their pick this week. That is a new record for amount of wins in one week. At the same time, two other milestones are also met. For the first time, every writer has at least one victory before the Chase resets the field. Plus, one writer has a record amount of wins in one season. This year's NASCAR tour is setting new records and seeing intense racing. That has become a reality as well in this fantasy pool.
Here's now where everyone stands after the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks:
Kara Martin (485) Jimmie Johnson WON - 3
Ryan O'Hara (461) Jimmie Johnson WON - 4
Sal Sigala Jr (450) Jimmie Johnson WON - 5
Dustin Parks (441) Kyle Busch finished 42nd - 2
Patti Rodisch (425) Jimmie Johnson WON - 2
Rob Tiongson (425) Jeff Gordon finished 15th - 2
Billy Fellin (419) Jimmie Johnson WON - 1
Rob Blount (414) Matt Kenseth finished 3rd - 1
Michael Hirshbein (411) Kyle Busch finished 42nd - 1
Aaron Rosser (392) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th - 1
Misan Akuya (386) Jimmie Johnson WON - 1
James Broomhead (369) Matt Kenseth finished 3rd - 2
Next Race: Sometimes it's easy to know who to take at a track where history plays a big factor. The next race, and track, will change all that because so many drivers are good at such a unique venue. Up next, a track that some say is short a corner, but in reality it's exactly what it is meant to be...tricky.
The next race on the circuit is the 2.5-mile "Tricky Triangle" at Pocono. Three very unique straightaways, three extremely different corners. Transmissions and engines become a factor, even if the distance is reduced from years ago. It is still a very difficult track to get a handle on, and that means many different strategies to be considered.
Writers, pull your own tricks if you wish, but your picks are still due by Thursday, June 5, at 10 p.m. ET for the Pocono 400.