Change of direction: Jimmie Johnson’s team will go to a backup car


After attempting to fix the No. 48 car after Jimmie Johnson spun in practice Saturday morning, the team has decided to go to a backup car.

That means that Johnson will start at the rear of the 37-car field for Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway. Johnson qualified 13th.

The team rolled out a backup car about 30 minutes before Saturday’s final practice session was scheduled to begin.

Johnson lost control of the car in Turn 4 and slid into the grass in the morning practice. He drove the car back to the garage.

“I got loose into Turn 3 and fought it for a long time and unfortunately came around,” Johnson said. “Did a nice job of keeping it off the outside wall, but came back down the hill and into the grass and the front end dug in pretty good. I’m pretty surprised the guys feel like the damage isn’t too bad and they can get that stuff pulled back out and get the shape of the body back. So, we are out for the rest of this practice and we will get back on-track for the second one. Not the way we wanted to start the day, but it is what it is.”

He has won twice this year after starting at the rear.

He won after starting at the rear at Dover because of a rear gear change. He won after starting at the rear at Texas when his team failed to get through inspection before qualifying and didn’t make an attempt.

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