Jimmie Johnson‘s best start of the season was wiped out at the green flag of Sunday’s Overton’s 301.
After having qualified second for the race, his first time starting in the top five through 19 races, Johnson was called for a start violation.
His No. 48 Chevrolet had reached the start-finish line before pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr. It resulted in a pass-through penalty for Johnson on Lap 3.
“I just got it wrong,” Johnson told NBCSN. “The No. 2 starter can’t beat the No. 1 starter to the start-finish line on the initial start. I definitely did that. I knew that I didn’t jump. (Truex) went first, plus I was looking at the green flag, so I felt like I had my bases covered there. I just missed one of those little clauses in the rule book.”
Despite the ordeal, Johnson finished Stage 1 in 12th and Stage 2 in fifth. He ended the day in 10th for just his second top 10 in the six races since he won at Dover.
Watch the video for the full interview.