Dale Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne eliminated from Chase

7 Comments

Defending and six-time Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson will not be able to earn his seventh crown, becoming one of four drivers that were eliminated from advancing to the Chase for the Sprint Cup Eliminator Round.

Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne were all eliminated in Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Kahne finished ninth in the final standings, followed by Busch, Johnson and Earnhardt.

Johnson led the most laps in the race – 84 of the 194 eventual laps (six more than scheduled due to two green-white-checker restarts).

He thought he could get back up to eventual race winner Brad Keselowski in the closing laps, but was unable to do so.

“I made my move, got to his outside, looked in my mirror and I didn’t have any friends,” Johnson told ESPN. “I was given an opportunity to get back into the Chase after two bad races … unfortunately we didn’t get it done.

“For sure, there’s disappointment, but the disappointment has been the weeks leading up to this one. You’re not going to win every championship battle, even though you’d like to. We’ll be back next year. We’ll start thinking about (2015) now.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in a late wreck with Greg Biffle that ended his hopes of advancing to the Eliminator Round.

“I don’t know, I don’t think I changed lanes,” Earnhardt said. “I was just following (teammate Kasey Kahne) and we got hooked, I guess. It looks like the 16 (Biffle) moved up into us.

“There wasn’t anything else I could have done. It’s just hard racing at the end of these races. We weren’t in a good position.”

Earnhardt led 31 laps and finished 31st as well.

“We had a good car when were in the lead,” Earnhardt said. “We just couldn’t get anything together to get back up to the front.”

As for the rest of the season, there’s just one thing left to do, knowing he won’t be racing for the championship anymore.

“We’re just going to try and win some more races before the year’s out,” Earnhardt said. “That’s all we have left.”

30 Seconds to Know: How does the Chase Eliminator round work?

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

IMSA race at Daytona: How to watch, start times, schedule, TV info, more

Leave a comment

IMSA start times: For the first time in more than five months, Daytona International Speedway will have a sports car race as the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series returns to the same place it left off today (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

After being sidelined by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic since the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, the premier sports car circuit will wave the green again on its 2020 season today. But instead of the annual 24-hour endurance classic, Saturday’s WeatherTech 240 will be a “sprint race” around the 3.56-mile road course.

Here are the details for IMSA’s second race of the season at Daytona (all times are ET):


IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona race information

TV: 6 p.m. NBCSN, NBC Sports App and TrackPass

RADIO: IMSA Radio will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSARadio.com, as well as Sirius Channel 216, XM 210, Internet 970

RACE DISTANCE: Two hours, 40 minutes around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 88 degrees with a 51% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here to see the 26 cars entered in Saturday’s race.


IMSA weekend schedule: Friday, July 3

11 a.m. — WeatherTech Championship Transporter Load-In

1 p.m. — Garages open; pit lane equipment setup

6:15-7:15 p.m. — First practice WeatherTech Championship (all classes)

9:30 p.m. — Garages close

IMSA weekend schedule: Saturday, July 4

8 a.m. — Garages open

8:45 a.m. — Fuel rig inspection

10:15 a,m — 11:30 am — Practice (restricted by classes: 10:15-10:45 a.m., GTD Silver/Bronze; 10:30-11:30 a.m., DPi/GTLM; 10:45-11:15, GTD all drivers)

1:55 p.m. — GTD qualifying

2:20 p.m. — GTLM qualifying

2:45 p.m. — DPi qualifying

6 p.m. — Formation laps

6:10 p.m. — IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona (2 hours, 40 minutes)

11:30 p.m. — Garages close