It seemed to be a rather ordinary afternoon at Dover, but after everything was said and done, it was anything but ordinary. Here is a look back at the winners and losers from Sunday's FedEx 400.
Tony Stewart says his crew chief was never in danger of losing his job. While that may or may not be true, it's hard to imagine Steve Addington not being the fall guy if the No. 14 team continued its sluggish performance struggle. After all, Stewart isn't going to fire himself.
But coming off a Dover win where he played a pivotal role in securing the victory, the state of Addington's job security is now a moot point. Unless, of course, Sunday was a fluke and Stewart goes back to running mid-pack again.
After consecutive down years, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing continues to show signs that it's coming out of the abyss. The latest example is Juan Pablo Montoya's runner-up finish at Dover, where he came up just three laps shy of winning his first Sprint Cup on an oval. It also marked the third top 10 in five races for the No. 42 team. And were it not for a punctured radiator, the other EGR car driven by Jamie McMurray would have likely placed in the top 10 as well.
It's no coincidence that in Paul Wolfe's first race back atop the pit box, Brad Keselowski snapped his drought and finished in the top 10 again. The fifth-place result was his first top 10 since Kansas at the end of April, and the first time he's finished in the top five since Bristol -- a nine-race span.
And yeah, there was that whole pesky thing about the No. 2 car being too low in post-race tech, but that's about as minor of an infraction as there is in NASCAR. The key takeaway from Sunday is with Wolfe and Keselowski reunited and the slate of favorable tracks ahead, the duo's first win of the season should be forthcoming.
Toyota Racing Development
What else can be said about the rash of engine failures that has hindered Toyota Racing Development for the past 18 months? It's almost to the point where it's comical -- unless, of course, you're Kyle Busch or Matt Kenseth, each of whom has seen multiple victories disappear because of the unreliability.
Considering his car was so bad through the early stages and he was a lap down at one point, if Jimmie Johnson would have won Sunday it would have been a statement victory. But overanxious to gain the advantage on race-leader Montoya, Johnson jumped the restart so blatantly that NASCAR had little choice but to penalize him. In the end, that the five-time champ didn't score a record-breaking eighth Dover win was his fault and no one else's.
It seems fairly obvious that if you're going to use your bumper to move a competitor out of the way, you don't trigger a crash that also takes yourself out. This lesson seemed to escape Ryan Newman Sunday, as he was determined to spin David Gilliland and when he finally did, he ended up crashing as well. Newman should consider himself lucky that Gilliland did nothing more than yell at him afterward.