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The 2009 Autism Speaks 400 presented by Heluva Good! was the thirteenth points race in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, marking the halfway point to the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup, and was held at the 1-mile (1.6 km) Dover International Speedway in Delaware's state capital city May 31 of that year, consisting of 400 miles (640 km).

2009 Autism Speaks 400
Race details
Race 13 of 36 in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season
Layout of Dover International Speedway
Layout of Dover International Speedway
Date May 31, 2009 (2009-May-31)
Official name Autism Speaks 400
Location Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware
Course Permanent racing facility
1.0 mi (1.609 km)
Distance 400 laps, 400 mi (643.737 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 80.6 °F (27.0 °C); wind speeds up to 13 miles per hour (21 km/h)[1]
Average speed 115.237 miles per hour (185.456 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Michael Waltrip Racing
Time 22.960
Most laps led
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 298
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network Fox Broadcasting Company
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds



Fox Sports, in its 2009 swan song, televised the race beginning at 1:30 PM US EDT while MRN (terrestrial) and Sirius XM Radio (satellite) handled radio coverage starting at 1 PM.

The biggest change that year at Dover was a new pit road area. Previously, Dover's pit road only had enough room for 42 pit stalls, meaning one team had to share a pit until a car dropped out of the race. Now, thanks to a new pit wall facing the main stands, widening the lanes within pit road by 4 feet (1.2 m), the area was rebuilt and all 43 cars will have their own pit stalls that are 4 feet (1.2 m) longer than before.

Pre-Race NewsEdit

The biggest news this week concerned the Hendrick Motorsports #88 team of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.. His cousin and crew chief, Tony Eury, Jr., who had come with him from Dale Earnhardt Inc. (now Earnhardt Ganassi Racing) two years ago in one of the biggest events of that Silly Season, was fired. He will be replaced for the next two races with manager Brian Whitesell. Lance Magrew, a veteran crew chief will take over at Michigan.


Jeff Gordon damaged his car after hitting the wall during qualifying

Jeff Gordon wrecked his car in the first run of qualifying. David Reutimann, winner of the previous week's rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 took his third career pole.

Failed to Qualify: Brad Keselowski (#25), Max Papis (#13), Derrike Cope (#75), David Starr (#06).


The Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe's team chose a rather unusual strategy: they chose the last pit stall (the newly designated 43rd pit stall). It worked to a charm as he led the most laps (298), and made the win with a pass of Tony Stewart with three laps to go and claim the win coming from seventh place on the final pit stop under caution that had earlier cost them the lead.

Top Ten Finishers
Pos. Car # Driver Make Team
1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
2 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Stewart Haas Racing
3 16 Greg Biffle Ford Roush Fenway Racing
4 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Roush Fenway Racing
5 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Penske Racing
6 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Richard Petty Motorsports
7 99 Carl Edwards Ford Roush-Fenway Racing
8 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Stewart-Haas Racing
9 07 Casey Mears Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
10 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports