Six-time and defending champ Jimmie Johnson’s hopes for a good start in the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup took a big hit in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Johnson was in the middle of a big pack on Lap 85 when it appeared that he was tagged from behind by Greg Biffle, causing a four-car wreck that not only wrecked Johnson, it also collected the cars of Justin Allgaier and Josh Wise.
“I’m fine, obviously a big hit in the championship points,” Johnson told ESPN. “That’ll put a premium on next week and the week after. We have to be on our game at Charlotte and Talladega. There’s still a lot of racing left.”
Johnson now finds himself last among the 12 remaining Chase-eligible drivers. He’s essentially now a half-race worth of points behind the rest of the pack as the field will be cut to only eight drivers after Talladega in two weeks.
Johnson, who also told ESPN that he hoped his team could make repairs to get his car back ontrack sometime later in the race, had started 32nd but had moved up significantly in the pack when the wreck occurred.
Interestingly, less than 20 laps prior to the wreck with Johnson, Biffle had other issues, getting sideways with a gaggle of other cars around him.
In one of the best driving moves of the season, Biffle made an outstanding save, moving down the track, while others dodged around him.
A couple of laps before the Johnson-Biffle tangle, Jamie McMurray got into the left rear of Jeff Gordon, sending the latter into and skimming the outside retaining wall.
While both drivers fell back several spots, it appeared Gordon’s damage was not that bad.
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