Jimmie Johnson and playoff hopes both hit the wall at Texas


Jimmie Johnson‘s struggles in his final season in the Cup Series continued Sunday.

The seven-time Cup champion hit the outside wall hard early in Stage 2. As if that wasn’t bad enough, when he took his car to pit road for repairs, he was penalized two laps for having too many members in the service area under NASCAR’s damaged vehicle policy.

That penalty will prove to be even more costly than the actual contact with the wall, as Johnson came into the race 15th in the Cup standings in what was the final playoff-eligible spot

With Sunday’s win, Austin Dillon jumped from the 17th playoff position to lock himself into the playoffs. Johnson drops to 16th, the final playoff-eligible spot, after his Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron finished 37th after wrecking, dropping out of the top 16 playoff positions to 17th, two points below Johnson and the cutoff line.

Johnson, who is a seven-time winner at Texas, saw his winless streak grow to 112 consecutive races without a visit to victory lane. His last win was June 4, 2017, at Dover International Speedway.

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