Jimmie Johnson blows tire at Phoenix Raceway
With 1 lap to go in stage 2, Jimmie Johnson blew a tire. He was sent into the wall in turn 4. He drove it to the garage, race over.
Chad Knaus was attempting to persuade Johnson to run the top in turns 3-4, all race. The lane had come in for the front running cars.
Johnson tried it earlier in the race. He ran slower up there so he dropped back to the bottom. Knaus continued to try and talk him into it.
Johnson finally took his word for it and gave it a shot. After all, a caution flag was going to come out anyway. It was a good time to run a quick test session, on paper. Unfortunately, as soon as Johnson ventured up there, the tire blew.
This also eliminates Johnson from the 2017 NASCAR playoffs. The 7-time NASCAR Champion will not advance to the Championship 4
“I really didn’t have any warning,” Johnson told NBC after leaving the infield care center. “I knew that I was hard on the brakes. But, the run before we didn’t have any issues.”
“I felt like I was kinda doing the same thing. As soon as I went into the corner and touched the brakes, the right front just blew.”
“I hate it for this team. They’ve worked so hard all year long. I’m very proud of their efforts. I know it’s not the results that we want but we’re Hendrick Strong.”
“Unfortunately, we won’t have a chance to make it 8 this year. But, we’ll come back next year and try real hard.”
“Disappointed for sure. But for the last couple months, we’ve been staying alive. But at this stage in the round of 8 and the round of 4, you can’t just stay alive. You gotta be hittin’ on all cylinders. We just haven’t been there unfortunately”
“I’m very appreciative of Chad and the team. But, we just can’t get there right now. We’ll do some good changes over the off-season and come back next year, ready to go.”
The race is still underway with just over 100 laps to go. Chase Elliott is the sole remaining Chevrolet will a chance to make it to the Championship 4.
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