Jimmie Johnson suffers mechanical failure before the race even begins | 2018 DOVER

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NASCAR Cup Series Highlights: Jimmie failed to take the green flag at Dover with the field after a pre-race mechanical failure forced him to the garage.

STEVE LETARTE: --talking to Aric Amirola.

Big news for Jimmie Johnson, 11 time Dover winner. He comes down pit road with an issue with the right front. The tire, I thought was loose, you're going to see how much the wheel moves around. But under closer inspection, it's not just the wheel. It's the center hub, the studs, and everything. So definitely some sort of major suspension failure on the 48 under pace laps.

This baffles me. A seven time champion, an 11 time winner, and the 48, Jimmie Johnson, will not even take the green here is the Monster Mile.

RICK ALLEN: This really is incredible news. And Jimmie Johnson, right now on a 52 race winless streak. And that's a career long for him. He's talked about how this was a race that he could rebound, after a great performance a week ago.

You look at 16 consecutive seasons with a win and potentially one of his best tracks, now might be off the table as far as a possibility of a win. Look at the names that he joins as far as consecutive seasons win wins. 11 wins here. That's why this race track is so important for him to get potentially that one win this year.

But you see the crew running back into the garage. Obviously a huge mistake here getting the car set up for this race, Steve.

STEVE LETARTE: And it has to be a mistake. Jeff and I were just discussing that up here. I can't fathom. I can't understand. Think of how many times the cars go on the race track, and it hadn't even run more than 45 miles an hour. For it to fall apart, it had to be either some sort of crazy parts failure or some sort of mechanical mistake.

But either way, the field's bunching up. We're going to see the green flag without Jimmie Johnson.

KELLY STAVAST: Just got back here. Got a little update from the team. And what they told me, is that Jimmie said, hey, guys I just killed the splitter, and I think something broke on the right front.

So that immediately happened when they got it back here, they replaced the splitter, or trying to replace the splitter. Actively working, Jimmie is still strapped inside the 48, so they're doing what they can to get him back out. But you've got to imagine the disappointment for this team at a place they thought they could show up and win. And now, Jimmie is starting from the garage.

STEVE LETARTE: Well, Kelly, thanks for the update. And I would imagine the splitter is a result of the failure. Something in that right front suspension obviously broke for that 48 car to fall down on the racetrack.

JEFF BURTON: And I talked to Aric Amirola, the opposite conversation with Aric. Aric was extremely excited about his car. He said he felt really good. He felt like he had a car that if he did everything right with, they could win this race. See

STEVE LETARTE: Jimmie joining the race, right here. He'll be 10 laps down, I believe. He missed the first 10 laps of the race.

So, man, talk about a bad year. Winless, winless has never happened in his career. And he's currently winless. I really looked at this as a race that I thought he could do it. I just thought after last week and that big move to try to win, so much talk about that, Jeff. I thought this was going to be the race he was going to bounce back.