Johnson wrecks out early after blowing tire at Loudon
Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has early tire trouble that leads to hard wreck, early exit from race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson made an early exti from Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire after blowing a left-rear tire and slamming into the wall.
By Jay Pennell
Starting on the outside of the front row in Sunday's Camping World RV 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson was looking for his fourth career Loudon win and hoping to build a notebook for the September Chase race at the venue.
However, things started going badly for the six-time series champion on just Lap 8 when he was forced to bring the No. 48 Chevrolet to pit road for a flat left rear tire.
Making the stop, Johnson dropped from second behind pole-sitter Kyle Busch to 42nd, one lap down to the field.
The problems did not end there, however, as Johnson blew another left rear tire heading into Turn 1 on Lap 13, hitting the wall hard on the driver side.
Johnson was able to climb from the car, but was done for the day.
"The first one I was able to drive the car down turns one and two, knew I had a flat and came in (the pits)," Johnson said after leaving the infield care center. "The other one just blew on the straight as soon as I hit the brakes. I'm not sure what caused it."
With teams having a number of tire issues throughout the weekend, Johnson said there is bound to be finger pointing for the early failure.
"We've seen some issues here, especially with that particular tire, over the last couple of days," he said. "We'll try to dig in and learn more. I can promise you one thing, it wasn't low tire pressure. I've been out here for two days running around and haven't had a flat."
The three-time New Hampshire winner admitted the damage from the first tire failure could have caused the second.
"There's many ways to think and speculate what could have caused it," he said. "Certainly after the first we could have had damage that allowed something to rub on the tire and blow the second one so quickly. Just a bummer. I'm expecting people to quickly point back at the team and say it's our fault, and if it is we'll accept it."
After the wreck, Goodyear officials stated that both of Johnson's tires involved in the early incidents were under the recommended tire pressure.