Jimmie Johnson fails inspection 3 times before Vegas race

NASCAR Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) waits to practice for Sunday's NSCAR Cup series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

LAS VEGAS (AP) Jimmie Johnson was sent to the back of the field for the start of Sunday’s NASCAR race at Las Vegas because his car needed four trips through inspection to be approved for participation.

NASCAR ejected Johnson car chief Jesse Saunders because the car failed inspection three times. The Chevrolet passed on its fourth inspection. Saunders is responsible for setting up the Camaro.

Johnson is a seven-time NASCAR champion and the winningest active driver on the Vegas track, but he is off to a slow start this season. He crashed in all three races at Daytona International Speedway and was 27th last week at Atlanta. He’s 35th in the Cup standings.

Ryan Blaney started from the pole in Vegas.

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