The last couple of weeks may have been going in Jimmie Johnson’s favor, but at New Hampshire, Johnson’s latest dominance took a small step back.
Prior to the race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson had been up to his winning ways, coming off fresh from a Daytona sweep. Daytona may have been Johnson’s latest success, but it all came to a halt during Sprint Cup qualifying at the Magic Mile on Friday. After qualifying in second for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301, Johnson’s qualifying time was disallowed after the No. 48 car failed post-qualifying inspection.
Going through post-qualifying inspection, the front of the No. 48 car was found too low. Even prior to making his lap on the racetrack, the No. 48 car had issues going through pre-qualifying inspection and had to go through several times before Johnson could go out and make his lap. Maybe the issues prior to qualifying should have been the signs of what was to come.
NASCAR took actions towards the No. 48 car, and after disallowing Johnson’s qualifying time, he will now have to start from the back of the field on Sunday. Even after failing inspection, Johnson and the No .48 team took all responsibility and admit to having made a mistake, and to their luck, the team was lucky when NASCAR only disallowed their time.
After having his time disallowed and having to go to a different pit stall on Sunday will only be a minor issue for Johnson and the team, as they have made their way back from other, bigger challenges in the past. Starting from the back won’t be a problem for the five-time champion, and it will be interesting to see him work his way up to the front throughout the race.
As the race goes on from New Hampshire, only time will tell if Johnson would have fared better if he had kept his initial starting spot in the front row along with pole-sitter Brad Keselowski.