Jimmie Johnson, who entered Thursday’s race at Kansas Speedway holding what would be the final playoff spot, was among those collected in a crash on a restart with 92 laps left. He did not finish the race, placing 32nd.
The result leaves Johnson outside a playoff spot with seven races left in the regular season. William Byron holds what would be the final playoff spot. Tyler Reddick trails Byron by 10 points. Erik Jones trails Byron by 12 points. Johnson trails Byron by 18 points.
The incident started when Joey Logano came up the track when it appeared he had a left front going down. Cars made contact behind him. Jimmie Johnson and Matt DiBenedetto made contact. Austin Dillon‘s car also suffered damage.
“I felt it going into (Turn) 3 right before we took the green and I felt it kind of landing on the splitter and honestly thought that the left front shock went bad,” Logano told NBCSN. “It wasn’t like it was flat, it was just down a little bit. Maybe it was bad judgement on my part. I just thought it wasn’t that bad and didn’t want to lose all our track position for something I wasn’t sure of. Hindsight is 20-20 and I apologize to everyone that was involved in it. It just stinks. It is one of those judgement calls. You are coming to the green and swerving your tires and something feels funny and you just aren’t sure.”
Dillon, who won last weekend’s race at Texas, DiBenedetto and Logano were all eliminated by the incident.
Johnson continued. The team was making repairs. Johnson failed to meet minimum speed and had run out of time on the Damaged Vehicle Policy clock. He drove the car to the truck on Lap 206 of the 267-lap race.
“I just got clipped on the right side,” DiBenedetto told NBCSN. “Nothing I could do different. … I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty freaking irritated. We have had garbage luck the last couple of weeks.”
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) July 24, 2020