BROOKLYN, MI — Jimmie Johnson’s attempt for his first win at Michigan International Speedway this weekend just become more difficult.
With less than 30 minutes remaining in Saturday’s final Sprint Cup Series practice, Johnson lost control and crashed his No.48 Chevrolet.
“I’m a little puzzled as to why I spun out going in,” Johnson said after his practice crash. “I got a little close to the 27 (Paul Menard), but then again it was like I was right on him.
“To me it felt like I lost downforce just from the traffic scenario, but I’m not really sure. Either way, we got a torn-up car.”
At the time of the crash, Johnson was the fastest car in the practice session with his best lap around the two-mile oval being 199.457 mph.
The No.48 crew immediately pulled out the backup car, the car he raced at Dover earlier this season, from the team’s transporter in order to get the car on-track before Sunday’s 400-mile race.
Crew members from the Hendrick Motorsports team of Dale Earnhardt Jr. along with Johnson helped quickly prepare the No.48 backup car.
The process took the crew 18 minutes, allowing Johnson to record laps in the backup car before the session ended. He recorded the 18th fastest time of the session with the backup car.
Johnson qualified his Chevrolet in third position for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 but will now start in the rear of the field due to the practice crash.
In 23 previous starts at Michigan International Speedway, Johnson has only recorded four top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
Johnson crashed while running second with two laps to go in the June race. He finished 28th.