MENCS: Jimmie Johnson’s 8th Title Hopes Melts In Desert Heat


Jimmie Johnson, who had his eyes set on a unprecedented eighth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title, melted in the desert heat Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

As Stage 2 was about to come to an end, Johnson appeared to cut a tire in the Can-Am 500. His No. 48 machine made a b-line for the outside retaining wall where he suffered heavy damage, forcing the seven-time champion to take the car to the garage.

I really didnt have any warning. I knew I was hard on the brakes, but the run before we didnt have any issues reported back,” stated Johnson. “So, I felt like I was kind of doing the same thing. Unfortunately, with so few laps to go to the end of the Stage, as soon as I went in the corner and touched the brakes, the right front just blew.”

Johnson missed the cut to make it to the Championship 4 next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Even without the accident, Johnson would have had to win Sunday’s race to advance as a contender in the season finale. Johnson was running 11th on when he hit the wall.

I hate it for this team. Theyve worked so hard all year long and Im so proud of their efforts. I know its not the results we want, but were Hendrick strong and Im proud of Team 48. Unfortunately, we wont have a chance to make eight this year, but well come back next year and try real hard.”

Johnson and his 48 team will have to wait until next year to see if they can capture his 8th championship.

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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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