Johnson wrecks in Michigan practice

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Lee Spencer

Lee Spencer is the Senior NASCAR Writer for She has provided award-winning coverage of auto racing over the last 15 years. Spencer has lent her expertise to both television and radio and is a regular contributor to SiriusXM Radio and the Performance Racing Network. Follow her on Twitter.



NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Jimmie Johnson wrecked coming off of Turn 4 nine laps into Saturday’s final practice at Michigan Speedway.


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Johnson posted the day’s fastest lap — 199.457 mph — earlier in his first run. The wreck occurred 22 minutes into Happy Hour. Once the No. 48 Chevy came to rest, Johnson reported to the crew that “the splitter is stuck in the dirt.”

While the No. 48 crew immediately pulled out the back up car.

"It just got loose," Johnson said after he was released from the Infield Care Center. "It was definitely unfortunate, because that was a very fast race car.

“I’m a little puzzled as to why I spun out going in because I’ve had great entry stability — even on that run, I had great entry stability,” said Johnson, who qualified third for Sunday’s race. “I got a little close to the No. 27, but then again it’s not like I was right on him. 

“To me, it felt like I lost downforce just from the traffic scenario, I’m not really sure. Either way, we have a torn-up car and we will have to work hard to get this one ready to go.

"I’m noticing that we’ve got the wrong paint job on it. So we’ll figure something out — I’ll either change driver suits, or we’ll put a wrap on it. I just hate that I’m putting this workload on my crew guys, but they’re ready for the challenge, and we’ll be just fine come Sunday afternoon.

"Hopefully, we’ll make a couple of laps here before this session is up and take it from there.”

Johnson ran an additional 10 laps and posted a top speed of 195,525mph in the back up car. Although Johnson was third fast in qualifying, NASCAR confirmed that he will start from the rear of the field on Sunday due to bringing out his secondary car after time trials.

Tagged: Jimmie Johnson

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