Jimmie Johnson wrecks in Coca-Cola 600, finishes 40th

7 Comments

On Lap 275 of the Coca-Cola 600, Jimmie Johnson found himself spinning by himself coming out of Turn 4 for the second time.

Unlike the first time, on Lap 91, the seven-time winner of Charlotte Motor Speedway points races wasn’t able to save his No. 48 Chevrolet as the car slid toward pit road before impacting the inside wall just shy of a garage entrance and then the first pit stalls.

Charlotte confirmed the spot where Johnson hit was where new SAFER barrier had recently been installed.

“I could see the SAFER barrier and I could see that opening and I could see the No. 2 (Brad Keslowski) pit,”Johnson said. “I was frightened I was going to get through that hole. It wouldn’t have been pretty for me, but to have teams and stuff there that was something I was staring at (while) sliding for a long ways. I was very thankful the SAFER barrier was there and wish we could find a way to extend a wall out and redirect the car away from that opening or close that opening up.”

For Johnson, it was the second accident in the race, continuing a trend of loose car behavior at 1.-5 mile tracks that started at Kansas Speedway, when Johnson spun out early before rebounding to win his third race of the year.

After retreating to the garage Johnson returned to the track and finished the night in 40th position, 30 laps down.

“It’s just something with this car,” Johnson told Fox. “We have nothing to lose, so we’re trying to be as aggressive as as we can on pit calling and strategy.”

Johnson attributed his first spin to “driving through a loose race car.

“If we would have had another another 30, 40 laps I think we would have had the exact car we would have needed for the finish of this race.”

Johnson described his Lowes Chevrolet was “wicked” and “unpredictable” in traffic, similar to his car in the Sprint All-Star Race last weekend and at Kansas, though he was able to overcome that for a win.

“It’s kind of a new thing,” Johnson said. “We didn’t have that at Texas (Motor Speedway) and Atlanta (Motor Speedway) and some of the other mile-and-half tracks.”

Johnson wasn’t too bent out of shape over the loss thanks to being locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup with three wins.

“Chad (Knaus) told me he either wanted it on a hook or the trophy,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately we got the hook.”

Updated entry lists for Cup, Truck at Martinsville

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Here are the entry lists for this weekend’s races.

Cup – STP 500 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-six cars are entered for the sixth Cup race of the year. D.J. Kennington is listed in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports entry.

Jeb Burton is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 52 Ford.

Click here for the entry list.

Gander Outdoors Truck – Martinsville 250 (2 p.m. ET Saturday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-nine trucks are entered. Those also entered in the Cup race are Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Ross Chastain. Bubba Wallace is entered in AM Racing’s No. 22 truck.

Click here for the entry list.

NASCAR America Motormouths at 5 p.m. ET with Bubba Wallace

NBCSN
Leave a comment

Today’s episode of NASCAR America presents Motormouths airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Rutledge Wood hosts with Kyle Petty and they’ll be joined by special guest Bubba Wallace.

Fans will have the chance to call into the show to ask questions.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

and on Facebook

Bubba Wallace entered in Truck race at Martinsville

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

AM Racing announced Wednesday that Bubba Wallace will drive the No. 22 entry in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

AM Racing tweeted: “In an effort to advance the performance component of our program, we will be putting a different Chevrolet driver in the seat of the No. 22 Chevrolet Silverado for Martinsville Speedway this weekend.”

AM Racing stated that Wallace “has been selected with very specific objectives regarding program feedback and development. His record at the track speaks for itself.”

Wallace, who will be on Wednesday’s NASCAR America (5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN), has two wins in four starts in the Truck series at Martinsville. He won there in 2013 and in 2014. Both times he won driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Austin Wayne Self had driven the No. 22 entry in the first three Truck races of the season. He finished ninth at Daytona and followed that with a 27th-place finish at Atlanta and a 15th-place finish in Las Vegas. He is 12th in the points.