Jimmie Johnson has gotten his first victory of the season. On Saturday, May 12, 2012, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series traveled to Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles' Southern 500. Johnson's victory marked the 200th for Hendrick Motorsports, which is a huge accomplishment. Hendrick Motorsports was first established in 1984. However, it was other stories that will likely be grabbing the headlines instead of the monumental victory.
This race was the second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for Danica Patrick. In her first race, at Daytona International Speedway, she was out early after a crash. This time, she managed to finish the race in 31st place. Patrick had a much better showing at Darlington in the Nationwide Series race. She managed to finish in 12th place. This was the best finish for a woman in the history of the race. Previously, that record was held by Patty Moise who managed to finish in 13th in a Nationwide Series race in 2005.
At the end of the race, Kurt Busch hit Ryan Newman's car in the pits. This angered some of Newman's crew and caused a minor altercation. This may just be the latest incident between the two drivers. Busch basically is claiming that he was removing his helmet and that it was an accident. Newman does not believe that. Hopefully, this will not prove to be a big issue. NASCAR is reviewing the incident, however. It seems unlikely that any penalties would be issued. Patrick recently intentionally hit Sam Hornish Jr. after a Nationwide Series race and she has yet to face any penalties.
Although conflicts between drivers are interesting to see and draw in viewers, it is getting a little out of hand for certain drivers. I would guess that Kurt Busch is on a short leash with his behavior after the events of 2011. If he isn't careful, he may find himself without a job again and, this time, there may not be another team willing to take him. For Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports, it is a huge victory and one that has been a long time coming. One thing is certain, it is shaping up to be an interesting season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Kristin Watt has been a NASCAR Winston Cup, now Sprint Cup, fan for as long as she can remember starting way back when she was a little girl and her mother would sit on the couch with her every Sunday during the season to watch the races. Back then, they were fans of Bill Elliott and newcomer Davey Allison.