SPARTA, KY- So far this weekend, Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet had some speed in it. Key word there is “had.” Johnson posted the fourth fastest lap in the lone NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session of the day from the Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, then he backed that up with the second quickest lap early on in the opening session from the 1.5-mile track on Friday morning.
Furthermore, Johnson had the best 10-lap average in not just yesterday’s session but in this morning’s rain shortened session as well.
He also put up the second fastest single lap speed in Friday morning’s session too, with a speed of 188.121 mph in his Hendrick Motorsports entry. It appeared that Johnson could easily win for the first time of his Cup career at Kentucky with all the short run and long run speed in his car.
But, he doesn’t have that car anymore.
Johnson got too high on the track and went straight into the SAFER barrier causing extensive damage to his Chevy. Crew Chief Chad Knaus decided it was best they go to the backup car as a result as they will now have a totally different car for him.
“I just got wide,” Johnson said of the wreck. “I didn’t have anything go wrong, I just got wide and the car just started going straight and it wouldn’t turn. I was in the marbles. I couldn’t see the line where the track was clean and dirty and it just kept going straight and straight and straight and hit the wall.”
Last weekend Kyle Busch crashed in practice at Daytona and finished second in his backup car. Johnson is hoping for similar results for him this weekend now.