A largely disappointing season for Jimmie Johnson got even worse Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Johnson was forced to start the AAA Texas 500 at the rear of the field after his No. 48 Chevy failed a inspection a third time prior to the race. But the thing is, Johnson’s car only failed inspection twice before passing on its third attempt.
NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell attributed the mistake to a “communication breakdown.”
“There was an assumption there was a third failure,” O’Donnell said after the race (via USA Today). “There wasn’t. There were only two. In that case, the 48 should not have started in the back.
“It’s disappointing. It’s not something you can fix during the race, unfortunately. All we can do is own up to it and fix it.”
I appreciate your honesty and apology. This was just one issue of many we had today. https://t.co/J6BzrJECrD
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 5, 2018
Johnson ran his practice laps ahead of the green flag where he qualified (23rd position) while crew chief Chad Knaus tried to plead his case to NASCAR officials — unsuccessfully.
“It put us in a bad situation,” Knaus said. “I’m really proud of the guys on the 48 team. We came back strong. We had another penalty later, a spun on the racetrack and still finished reasonably well (15th).”
Kevin Harvick eventually won the race in overtime.
Johnson has yet to win this season with two races remaining on the schedule.