Jimmie Johnson to backup car after practice accident

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Jimmie Johnson will use a backup car for the rest of the weekend at Auto Club Speedway following an accident Friday in the first Cup Series practice session.

Johnson lost control of his No. 48 Chevrolet as he went through the middle of Turn 3 and 4 with about 24 minutes left in the session.

Johnson missed Kurt Busch, who was down on the apron, before plowing into the grass in Turn 4. With minor damage to his left-rear and grass in his grille, Johnson returned to the garage.

“Qualifying has been tough on us (at Auto Club Speedway) for the last few years,” Johnson told Fox Sports 1. “We just showed up to the track swinging hard trying to get all that we can. Crossed the line there for sure and the car came around on me. We’ve got another great Lowe’s Chevrolet coming out. I thought we might be able to stick with this one, but that divot we took was just too much on the front-end of the race car.”

Johnson has qualified 15th or worse in four of the last six years at the 2-mile speedway. He started 19th last season in a winning effort.

“The only way we’re going to get better without testing is just keep trying harder in practice and swing harder,” Johnson said “We know we have the race side in a respectable spot. It’s just starting better on Fridays.”

Johnson made four practice laps before his accident. He was 24th fastest in the session.

MORE: Johnson confident contract extension coming soon.

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