A Crash at Darlington Ends Johnson’s Happy Day

Crash at Darlington Ends Johnson's Happy Day
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – MAY 17: Jimmie Johnson, the driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, is towed away during the NASCAR Cup Series The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 17, 2020, in Darlington, South Carolina. NASCAR resumes the season after the nationwide lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Seven-time champion, Jimmie Johnson leads the pack at Darlington

A crash at Darlington Raceway changes everything for NASCAR Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson. He was leading the last lap in the first stage in the Real Heroes 400 as fans celebrate happy days again. But all that just vanished. Johnson lost control of his car while racing alongside another car. That’s when the No. 48 car went spinning then crashing into the wall to end his day.

“Gosh, what I would do to get that corner back to do it over again,” said Johnson after exiting the car.

“Coming to the end of the stage, I was just trying to make sure I got a good run off of turn two. I felt like I was going to be able to exit the corner side-by-side with him, things just went horribly wrong there.”

After the crash at Darlington, Johnson finished 38th and Kevin Harvick went on to win.

This is the first race back at the track

Everyone is happy to see NASCAR return to racing. This is the first race after the COVID 19 pandemic break that began after the Phoenix race in March. This race is one of 20 races across seven Southern states between now and June 21. This week Darlington is hosting three events in four days. Then, teams move closer to home at Charlotte Motor Speedway for four more races this month. Masks, safe distancing, and no fans in the stands are a new way of life for NASCAR tracks until further notice.

Before the crash at Darlington, Johnson was content with his car. On social media, fans were expressing their elation at watching him lead the race. It’s all good news for Hendrick Motorsports drivers who are collectively experiencing an overall improvement this season.

“What a great car, I feel terrible for my team and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports,” continued Johnson. “I’m very thankful for Ally and all of their support. We have great race cars and things are coming in the right direction, just unfortunate that things didn’t really turn out there off of turn two.”

Johnson has another chance to lead at Darlington this Wednesday, May 20th. Race coverage begins on FS1 at 7:30 pm ET.