Jimmie Johnson was coming off of back-to-back wins entering the Pocono 400. However, Johnson was taken out of contention early in the event after colliding with Marcos Ambrose on pit road.
Johnson was exiting his pit stall after racing his way into the top-10 when the caution came out on Lap 73. The No. 48 car received major damage to the right front quarter panel, and caused Johnson to make multiple trips back to pit road.
“I was scared to death I was going to hurt someone,” Johnson said. “We just went to work and do what the No. 48 does best and grind it out. We thought we had a shot at it. Chad had a great strategy, but that last set of tires was just way too tight and I couldn’t get it done.”
After all of the chaos, he was able to finish sixth after capturing the lead for a handful of laps during a green flag pit cycle as the race was winding down. Moreover, Johnson experienced some issues with the handling of his Chevrolet. With the high speeds at the Pocono Raceway, aerodynamics play a key role in attempting to keep up with the leaders.
“We took two (tires) and we were leaving pretty quick and Chad (Knaus) was spotting me out of the pit and took full responsibility for it. He didn’t know the No. 9 was ahead of us pulling in. He thought the No. 9 had left his pit box,” he said.
“We had some aero stuff to sort out. After the second pit stop working on it, the car was a lot better. I honestly forgot about it until I felt like we had a shot to win.”
Johnson remains fourth in the standings as he has all but secured a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. This was Johnson’s ninth top-10 of the 2014 season, and he is on pace to surpass 20 top-10s for the year for the 13th consecutive season.