A wreck on a Lap 178 restart in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 involved seven cars and brought out the red flag at Texas Motor Speedway.
Johnson, Hamlin, Almirola and Keselowski were eliminated.
It began when Almirola, who had his run disrupted by Kyle Busch falling through the pack, was running above Denny Hamlin. Hamlin got loose and made contact, sending Almirola up into the outside wall.
“(Almirola) made a move on the inside, everyone’s fighting for the inside,” Hamlin told FS1. “I was obviously running the bottom there. The 10 tried to squeeze and I realized he was coming down, I got out of the gas and got loose underneath him. It’s my responsibility to keep my car under me, but we were in so tight quarters there it was nearly impossible to do.”
The crash ended with Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet plowing into the inside tire barrier.
“By the time I saw what went on, (Hamlin) was backwards and smoking the tires coming up the track,” Johnson told FS1. “I knew where his arc was taking him and I knew that I was in trouble in the outside lane, was going to get into him some. The crash just kind of continued on from there. Unfortunate circumstances, but a lot to build on from this weekend.”
Johnson, who is the defending winner of this race, suffered his second DNF of the season.