Talk about excellent timing… Following repairs, he returned to the track on lap 139 and finished 41st, 36 laps down. The question is whether they can get through the next three-race round of the Chase without suffering a letdown. Now, with 12 drivers in the Chase still, the standings are reset.
Trucks: Austin Theriault suffered a compression fracture of his lower back in a head-on crash into a wall in late Saturday’s NASCAR truck series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“From that moment on, my head spun around on my shoulders”, Johnson said.
“It’s tough having a very cheap axle seal be the culprit and take your championship hopes away”, he said. The NASCAR racing weekend had been under a few threat of weather, but it appears the race will take place as scheduled today.
The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota did just that.
Kevin Harvick (5-1 Stations) – Harvick has consistently been the most dominant driver on the circuit since the 2014 Chase started, but a gamble last week at New Hampshire resulted in a 21 place finish after he ran out of gas and it puts him 15 out of 16 in the Chase standings.
As Johnson explained his version after the race, he had an idea that Harvick was going to be upset.
“That was a guy that we wanted to knock out, you know, that’s a guy that can win all these races, and you don’t want to have to compete against a guy like that”, he said. “I never felt any pressure”. And dominating all season and failing to advance from the first round is different from needing points to advance from the semifinal round to the championship race. Been in these situations are a lot this year and have pulled off when you.
“Well, it’s just one of those weekends where the vehicle was really good and they believed”, Harvick said. At Dover, where teams did not qualify and had scant practice due to rain, crew chief Childers brought a vehicle that had been wrecked once and re-built twice. It was the second caution of the day, and the first time the drivers could come down pit road and change tires and refuel. “It was completely out of my control how many laps we were down”.
“My only question is, did they go big enough?” “We just needed one more point”.
Kevin Harvick began the AAA 400 at Dover worldwide Speedway on the brink of elimination. Those four are out of contention for the championship. Both McMurray and Menard could still get into the next round on points.
“I still have to be too patient or we can work on it where I don’t have to be so patient with the front end”, Earnhardt said. “And I think the fit-factor couldn’t be any better”. Within 20 or 30 minutes of being back on the track, I could see the flow of the race. Bowyer joined them after an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel, and Brad Keselowski fell off the lead lap by the halfway point of the race.
“We finished where I thought we deserved to be”.
Chaser Martin Truex Jr., forced to start last when his No. 78 Chevy failed prerace inspection for a right rear wheel well problem, drove the wheels off to finish 11th.