BRISTOL, Tenn. – Jimmie Johnson, the defending winner of the Food City 500, will relinquish his 17th starting spot for Sunday’s race and take the green flag from the rear of the field because of a tire change after qualifying.
The team found a deflating tire and made the change.
Johnson, mired in a 30-race winless streak, will join Kevin Harvick at the back of the 39-car field Sunday. Harvick will start at the rear because he’s in a backup car after crashing his primary car in practice Friday.
Johnson scored two of his three wins last year after moving to the rear before the race. He won at Texas after an unapproved tire change. He won at Dover after a rear gear change.