Johnson Wins Crash-filled Clash At Daytona

Kurt Busch Finishes Second In Debut With Ganassi

Scott Stiller
February 10, 2019 - 11:26 pm
Jimmie Johnson Wins Clash At Daytona International Speedway

Jason Vinlove-USA Today Sports

Categories: 

Daytona Beach, FL (93.7 The Fan) -- Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson is back in Victory Lane after winning the rain-shortened Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.  Johnson, who went winless for the first time in his career in 2018, was running second on lap 55 when he moved inside leader Paul Menard.  Menard tried to block Johnson's move but the two made contact sending Menard spinning into the turn 3 wall collecting several other competitors in the process.

"I got a great run down the back," Johnson said.  "I got below him (Menard) before he blocked it, and then he came down a little bit, I think to block and defend.  I think it was racing thing more than anything.  I feel sorry for Paul.  I feel sorry for all the teams that lost race cars, but I'm here to win races, and this Ally car was fast".

Johnson was declared the winner after NASCAR red-flagged the race for the third time because of rain.

"Knowing the rain was coming, we could see it coming, and I knew it was probably my lap to make the move," said Johnson.  "I got that move inside him, and I was hoping the 1 (Kurt Busch) would follow me through".

Busch, who was running his first race for Chip Ganassi Racing, had a birds-eye view of what was happening out the windshield of his Monster Energy Camaro.

"Johnson made a move on Menard," said Busch.  "And he stayed in that no-zone, I call it the no-zone, in that left rear quarterpanel for way too long, and it just drug Menard around with him, and that's some of the instability in the draft that these cars show."

Busch was thankful to avoid the mayhem and thought he may have had a shot at the checkered flag after seeing Johnson went below the double-yellow line to avoid the spinning Menard.

"I saw the first replay after the race, and it clearly shows he's below the double yellow," said Busch.  "Can the rule be interpreted he went to go pass below the double yellow?  Yes.  Can it be interpreted that Menard forced him below the double yellow?  Yes.  Right now Ganassi is over there at the hauler just checking in, just seeing what the call can be, and again, it's -- like any sport right now, we see it in the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball, it's all an umpire or referee call, and they can decide which way it needs to go, but hey, we almost won our first race together, and we'll take second.  Either way."

Next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series are the Gander RV Dual Qualifying Races Thursday, February 14th at 7 p.m. EST.

 

___
Follow 93.7 The Fan: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Listen to 93.7 The Fan on the Radio.com App - Download Now