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RECAP: With a top-five qualifying spot and plenty of momentum, Jimmie Johnson was ready to race at the 2.5-mile superspeedway on Sunday. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS wasted no time at the Florida track, moving into third in line of a three-wide pack in the first five laps. After a brief rain delay that halted the race for 20 minutes, Johnson’s drive continued and he cracked the top three by lap 15. Unfortunately for the No. 48 team, Johnson’s run was cut short when he was involved in a 16-car incident at Lap 21. The No. 48 team tried to repair the damage to the Lowe’s Patriotic Chevy, but it was too extensive to fix. Johnson was scored with a 42nd-place finish.
QUOTING JIMMIE: “There were just cars spinning. I just feel so bad for my crew. They worked so hard to get a car ready to come down here and have a fast car. And then we make 15 laps four days later, or something like that? I’m certainly disappointed in that. I was kind of busy with my environment of three-wide and I just saw cars moving around and smoke in front of us. So I don’t know what triggered it or what happened. But I’m just thoroughly disappointed for everybody on the Lowe’s team. Those guys have been down here for four days in this heat, working on the car; not to mention all the time and effort put into these speedway cars by the people who work on them, to go 15 or 20 laps is just a really big bummer.”
OTHER HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS FINISHERS: Jeff Gordon (12th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (14th) Kasey Kahne (27th).
NEXT UP: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sunday, July 13 , 1 p.m. on TNT and PRN Radio