All it took for Jimmie Johnson to break out of his so-called slump was the dirt of Eldora Speedway.
Johnson started on the pole after the field was inverted following three qualifying heats and led the whole crash-marred, 30-lap feature. (Seriously. I know that these guys haven't been on dirt in a while, but it made ARCA on Daytona look like a calm drive down a lonely highway.)
"This is big," Johnson said. "This is so much fun and such a challenge to drive these cars, and to come out here and race against these guys, I can't believe it.
"I'm so stoked, so happy."
Johnson's car was prepared by Clint Bowyer. Bowyer was the captain of Team Riley. Johnson was on Team Levine, which as the winner of the event received 45-percent of the proceeds.
"That's awesome," Johnson said. "I can't thank Clint enough. I had his dad spotting for me tonight which was pretty cool."
That Bowyer. What a traitor.
However, he made himself a pretty good car as well as he passed Kyle Busch for second on the green-white-checker restart.
"[Johnson's] a four-time champion for a reason," Bowyer said. "Ol' Busch, he doored me, and I wasn't going to let him get away with that."
If Johnson's asphalt drought continues -- we're at what, 11 weeks and counting? Doesn't that feel like an eternity? -- don't be surprised if there are whispers in the garage area of Chad Knaus' demise. It's obvious that Bowyer and Johnson work better together.