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To say that Jimmie Johnson has had a disappointing start to Speedweeks would be an understatement. After a strong showing early in both the Sprint Unlimited and the Duel, Johnson has finished with two wrecked No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolets.
In Duel #2, Johnson looked great in the early going, quickly moving into the runner-up position by Lap 3. However, he lost the draft and slipped to 12th by the sixth lap. After his green-flag pit stop on Lap 36, Johnson moved from the mid-pack into the third spot with 20 laps to go. By Lap 45, he was running fourth behind teammate Jeff Gordon. Johnson was running fourth and ran out of fuel on the final lap, triggering a multi-car incident. He was scored with a 16th-place finish.
“I feel terrible," Johnson said. "Terrible to tear up that many racecars and see the 15 (Bowyer) flip. I feel terrible and want to apologize to everyone. I tried to get up out of the way, I had my hand out the window, but the last lap coming to the checkered, there is so much going on right there, so much energy in the pack, I knew we were going to get run over if we ran out. Thankfully everyone is all right and I certainly feel bad for all the torn-up racecars."
Johnson and the No. 48 team will return to the track Friday, February 21st with a backup car for an hour-and-a-half long practice session for Sunday's Daytona 500.