Jimmie Johnson’s scary crash, Jamie McMurray fire take them out at Pocono

Seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson  had a scary ending to his race in Sunday’s Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.

With five laps to go in Stage 2 of the race, Johnson suffered a catastrophic brake failure in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet as he headed into Turn 1, where corner entrance speeds are typically well above 200 miles per hour.

Johnson was running seventh at the time, two spots in front of Jamie McMurray, when his car violently struck the wall.

McMurray also crashed hard, as his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet burst into flames. Like Johnson, McMurray was able to get out under his own power.

Winded by the impact, Johnson climbed out of his destroyed race car and sat with his back to the SAFER barrier as he got his wind back.

“Whew. Got away with one there,” said Johnson on the team’s radio.

After getting out of the infield care center, he explained what happened.

“I can only speculate that I got the brakes too hot and when I went to the brakes they just traveled straight to the floor,” said Johnson.  “I didn’t even have a pedal to push on. At that point, I threw it in third gear and I was just trying to slow it down.  I was heading to the grass and I was wondering why I didn’t turn right and get to the wall sooner, but I’m fine.”

The two crashed cars brought out a red flag that lasted for 23 minutes.

Johnson managed to keep his sense of humor afterward.

“Certainly, a big scare,” he said.  “I haven’t had a scare like that since 2000 at Watkins Glen.  So, just want to let my wife and kids and my mom know that I’m okay and I will go change my underwear and get ready to go home.”

“It was really weird that we kind of both had the same thing happen at the same point on the racetrack, but fortunately, we are both okay and yeah, move on,” added McMurray.