Jimmie Johnson was the mane man at Dover.
Wearing an afro clown wig - tufts of green, red, yellow, and blue could be spotted from the stands - Johnson had to admit it was hard to take himself seriously while he played the role of race jester.
Some guys just have all the fun.
That especially includes on this track.
Johnson romped again at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del., racing his way into the track’s history books Sunday with his seventh win on the concrete, matching the mark held by Hall of Fame drivers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison.
No active driver owns the track like the five-time Sprint Cup champion. Johnson led 289 of the 400 laps and looked every bit like the driver who swept the two Cup races at Dover in 2002 and 2009. Johnson last won at Dover on Sept. 26, 2010. He also won the September 2005 race.
“God, I love this place,’’ Johnson said as he took a victory spin.
Then it was off to goof around in Victory Lane. Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and other Hendrick Motorsports crew members wore the wacky wig seen in the talking-animal movie, “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.’’
They had good reason to clown around. Throw in the All-Star race and that’s a sweet four-race winning streak for NASCAR’s top organization.
Johnson won at Darlington Raceway and Kasey Kahne won the Coca Cola 600. Johnson also won the non-points All-Star race during that span as the No. 48 Chevrolet is heating up as he chases a sixth Cup championship.
“I’ve never been one to pay attention to stats,’’ Johnson said. “I just truthfully never thought I’d be the guy who’d build up any cool stats. Here I am with some pretty cool stats with legends of our sport and guys that I’ve looked up to.’’
Johnson won his second race of the season - and first where he celebrated with a rainbow circus wig.
“I’m just proud of this hair,’’ Johnson said. “The hair brought some speed to the team.’’
Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five. Johnson’s win came about 390 miles after a massive 13-car accident ended weeks of mostly accident-free races and took out defending Cup champion Tony Stewart. Stewart eventually returned and finished 25th.
Johnson’s only real challenge for a stretch came from teammate Jeff Gordon. The No. 24 was strong enough to lead 60 laps midway through the race and had perhaps the car to beat until a tire issue and an ill-timed debris caution combined to land him in 13th.
Indycar - Scott Dixon won the Detroit Grand Prix that was marred by poor track conditions that stopped the race for a little more than two hours.
A red flag halted the event 45 laps into a race that was scheduled for 90 laps and shortened to 60.
Belle Isle’s 2.07-mile road course that hadn’t hosted a race since 2008 had chunks of asphalt and concrete missing. Pot holes and grooves that were recently filled with tar became exposed. Crews filled the gaps with epoxy that settled enough for the race to resume.
The sprint to the finish was stunted by a caution flag because light rain made a slick track even more slippery. Helio Castroneves spun out as if his car was on a skating rink, and finished 17th.
Dixon pulled away after the final restart on Lap 55 for his first win of the season, almost 2 seconds in front of teammate Dario Franchitti. The reigning Indianapolis 500 champion made many moves in limited time after starting toward the back of the pack in the 25-car field.
Le Mans 24 Hours - Oak Racing team said one of its drivers has undergone an emergency operation on his spinal cord after crashing at the annual test day in Le Mans, France.
The team said in a statement that Guillaume Moreau had “a severe accident’’ at a corner on the Le Mans circuit Sunday morning. The 29-year-old Frenchman was taken to University Hospital of Angers for surgery.
Oak Racing said the operation was a success but it will be several months before his level of recovery can be assessed.