After moving within the Top 10 in a backup car, Jimmie Johnson’s checkered history at Michigan International Speedway continued when engine issues put him out of the race.
Johnson was running eighth after making his second stop of the day at Lap 45 when he brought his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet back to the pits. He then went back out for one slow lap around the two-mile oval before he took the car behind the wall at Lap 55.
“The engine broke there,” Johnson told ESPN. “…I didn’t really notice anything off, then it finally dropped a cylinder or two down the back straightaway. Definitely an unfortunate thing, but we had plenty of speed in the car and I think we were going to be a factor with this [car].”
Noting MIS’ penchant for taking engines to – and then beyond – their limits, Johnson said that days like today made him glad to have as big a points lead in the Sprint Cup standings as he’s created. Going into the Pure Michigan 400, he had built a 75-point advantage over Clint Bowyer with four “regular season” races to go.
“It happens and I hope to get all of this stuff out of the way now, although I hate losing momentum going into the Chase,” said Johnson. “It’s nice to roll in there hot and I think we had a chance to win today. But we’ll dust ourselves off and go again next week.”