LOUDON, New Hampshire – Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott each hit the Turn 3 wall within minutes of each other in Friday’s opening practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Both will go to backup cars.
Johnson slammed the wall on his second lap of practice. He had recorded what was the second-fastest lap of the session on the previous lap before drifting from the top lane and bouncing off the Turn 3 wall the next time by. Johnson drove the car back to the garage but his team quickly unloaded a backup car. Johnson’s incident happened 21 minutes into the 85-minute session.
“I just got in there with a lot of speed and anticipated it sticking and it didn’t quite stick,” Johnson told NBCSN. “Definitely not the way we wanted to start.”
Elliott hit the wall less than 10 minutes after Johnson. He also drove his car back to the garage.
Elliott is without crew chief Alan Gustafson and car chief Joshua Kirk this weekend. NASCAR suspended both one race, along with docking Elliott and the team 15 points each, for modifying components to affect aerodynamic properties of the car last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
“It’s not what we needed,” Elliott told NBCSN, adding his car also didn’t stick when he went into Turn 3. “We’re behind this weekend and that is never good.”
NBCSN’s Marty Snider reported that Elliott’s team did not plan to run the backup car in this session – the only session before qualifying today. Johnson made it on track in his backup car with less than 15 minutes left in the session.