Race fans, we have official confirmation. Contrary to popular belief, Jimmie Johnson is NOT immortal in the Chase.
3 laps into Sunday’s Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Johnson attempted to pass Sam Hornish Jr. on the high side in turn 2. It didn’t work.
Hornish was tapped by David Reutimann, and then slid up the track into Johnson’s #48 Chevrolet. The result: Heavy damage on both sides of Johnson’s car; a sight many race fans have been waiting to see during the Chase since his last Chase crash at Talladega back in 2006.
You can see the video by clicking on the link below:
Judging by the clip, it appears that Johnson’s could have saved his car after the initial contact, but failed to do so. It also looked like he could have saved it again after he hit Hornish, but again, he failed to do so.
Also, you could see in the clip that ESPN showed the crowd after Johnson’s crash, and virtually every fan in the stands was standing up(most of them cheering).
One thing you did not see in the video: Johnson’s car sat in the garage for 1 hour and 8 minutes(a fact Jerry Punch had memorized and reminded everybody of several times). Most drivers, if not all, who sit in the garage for that period of time will get out of the car, talk to the media, and even help repair the car. Johnson sat in the car the entire time with his helmet on. He talked to no one until after the race.
Johnson’s response on the crash:
“Sam (Hornish) just lost it inside me. He can do that from time-to-time. I just wish he could have waited a little longer and not taken us out.”
Well, Jimmie, if you don’t like racing with him, nobody’s going to make you show up to the next two races. It’s racing, and it happens. Yes, even to you on occasion.
Kurt Busch would go on to win the race. He moved into fourth place in the standings, 171 points behind Johnson. Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon are second and third, 73 and 112 points out of the lead, respectively.
The story of the day: When it comes to the Chase, Jimmie Johnson is mortal! And it looks like we may have a championship battle, after all.