There is never a good time to crash, but Jimmie Johnson picked one of the worst moments to wreck his No. 48 Chevrolet. The 43-year-old was just 15 laps into the Consumers Energy 400 when he hit the wall in Turn 2.
The crash didn’t knock him out of the race, but it did do some considerable damage. Johnson finished 34th out of 38 cars.
“The right side tires went into the PJ1 (track compound) and as soon as I got my tires in it, I went straight into the wall,” Johnson said. “When you’re aggressive, it doesn’t work and then sometimes you’re cautious and it doesn’t work. It was a great car. That hurt, for sure.”
Johnson took full responsibility for the mishap.
“It’s super disappointing. It’s a little easier when it’s not on you and you can call it a mechanical or a flat or get caught up in a wreck,” Johnson said. “But, I’m behind the wheel and I’m the one that got us in the fence.”
It has been a rough season for the veteran. He is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since its inception in 2004. He began Sunday in the last spot at No. 16, but his results in Michigan knocked him down to 18th. There are three races to go to qualify, and he is optimistic he’ll make it.
“To just fight hard for every point,” Johnson said about what it’s going to take to make the playoffs. “The guys around that cut-off point, all seem to be having bad luck. If one of us could just string together some good races and get in the clear and get away.”
Johnson is 40/1 to win the Monster Energy Cup Championship.
Harvick Running Hot
Kevin Harvick hadn’t won a NASCAR race in 21 events this season. Now the 43-year-old has capture two of the last four.
Harvick took Michigan for the second consecutive year. He is the second pick, along with Martin Truex Jr., to win the Monster Energy Cup Championship. They are 5/1, while favorite Kyle Busch is at 7/2.
At Michigan, Harvick got some inspiration from his son, Keelan. The youngest brought the checkered flag from last year’s victory. Harvick was the favorite to win at 4/1.
After the victory, Keelan retrieved the checkered flag, then got rewarded by being able to ride in his dad’s car for the victory lap.
“For me it’s making those memories, and to be able to do that with him. Heck, he may never get to do a donut in his life or hear 40,000, 50,000 people screaming and yelling, and that enthusiasm of the excitement from the crowd,” Harvick said. “Those are neat experiences that most kids don’t get to experience, but most kids’ dads don’t race cars, and for me to be able to share that with him is pretty neat, and for NASCAR to let us do that and make those memories is also pretty awesome.”
Truex Fails Inspection
Martin Truex, who was the third pick at 7/1 to win at Michigan, started out in the rear of the race after his car failed a pre-race inspection twice. He was originally slated to be in 15th position. He still managed to lead 43 laps of the race, and finish fourth.
This Week’s Odds, Pick
NASCAR is at the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday under the lights and Kyle Busch is the favorite at +250. We like Denny Hamlin at 12/1, who has had success with this race package.