Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon) has dominated at Dover the last two years, with three wins in four races on the mile concrete oval. He overcame a poor finish at Loudon to log the fastest qualifying lap, take the checkered flag and jump to second in the Championship points standings.
Johnson finished 25th last Sunday at New Hampshire. It was the worst showing for any driver in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship and dumped him from second to seventh in points.
This time, Johnson led a race-high 191 laps and was greeted by smiling owner Rick Hendrick in Victory Lane.
"Last week didn't turn out like we wanted," Johnson said. "I don't look all that excited right now but there's a huge weight off my shoulders that we were able to come and win a race in the Chase, rebound from last weekend and we're in the middle of this thing and we're really, really excited."
Johnson has six career wins and 12 top-10 finishes in 18 races at Dover. He was the class of the field in May until a rare pit road mistake put him in 16th place.
"There's a very unique rhythm to driving this track and it's just suited my style," Johnson said.
Chase drivers filled five of the top-six spots. Jeff Burton was second, Kurt Busch was fourth, Carl Edwards fifth. Joey Logano was the sole non-Chase driver in the top five with a second place finish.
Denny Hamlin remains on top of the points standing with a ninth place finish. He holds a 35-point advantage over Johnson heading into Kansas which is the largest point lead of any driver after two Chase races. The points leader after Dover has never gone on to win the championship since the Chase's inception in 2004.