Jimmie Johnson wrecks at end of first segment of Sprint Unlimited

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Jimmie Johnson wrecked on the final lap of the first segment of Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.

It was the only caution of the first of three segments. Johnson had started from the back of the 18-car field and worked his way up to as high as second before the mishap occurred on Lap 30.

“I was trying to set up a pass on the 11 and work the air, and in the end I got turned around there,” he said.

TV replays showed that no other car made contact with Johnson, but that he simply lost the draft and took a hard left, eventually making contact with the inner retaining wall.

The man Johnson was trying to pass, Denny Hamlin, won the first segment.

Jamie McMurray led much of first half of the first segment before having to hit pit road to have tape applied to his car’s grill to reduce an overheating issue. Kyle Busch then took the lead.

Terry Labonte took his car to the garage after the 15th lap and retired from the race.

Tony Stewart fell to last on the 18-car grid after Labonte left the track, but then roared back, going from 17th to sixth in six laps.

Stewart also recorded the fastest speed of all drivers with a single-lap best of 200.3 mph.

Johnson had started in the back of the field and proceed to jump14 spots, from 18th (last) to third place by Lap 17.

Harvick took over lead on Lap 20, with Johnson right behind.

Danica Patrick also impressed, moving from 13th to third (Laps 18 to 21) before falling back.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. flirted near the front of the lead before falling back to 16th.

The second segment, 25 laps, just started.

The third and final segment will be 20 laps.

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.