Jimmie Johnson Moved to Last After No. 48 Fails Post Race Tech

NASCAR.com Report May 25, 2020 at 1:59 AM: NASCAR officials disqualified the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet after post-race inspection at Charlotte Motor Speedway, striking Jimmie Johnson from a second-place finish in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

Cup Series director Jay Fabian said that the No. 48 car’s rear alignment failed in the Optical Scanning Station (OSS) portion of technical inspection after Sunday’s race. Johnson and the team were relegated to a last-place finish in the 40-car field.

All other drivers who took the checkered flag behind Johnson were moved up one position in the finishing order. Johnson also forfeits the 11 stage points he had earned in Sunday’s event.

No. 48 crew chief Cliff Daniels speculated early Monday morning when the penalty was announced that something may have broken on the car and that the team would investigate.

"Disappointed about our post-race OSS. We think something must've broken but won’t know until we get it back to the shop tomorrow and can diagnose. Tough news after a strong night. This team is getting stronger We are focused forward. We’ll be back Wednesday with another great car," commented Daniels.

Fabian said the No. 48 team had a right to appeal the penalty. He did not specify how far out of tolerance the car was in post-race inspection.

"The 48 ran strong tonight all night.  I hate it for them.  They had a good car, performed well," Fabian said. "But yeah, the allowance is built in for parts that move.  There’s an allowance for that. But if parts break, you know, the number is the number. There is no real parameter outside of that. There’s parts in the past that have been designed to failure break. Certainly not suggesting that’s the case here. But that’s what’s gotten us to this hard line of this is a post‑race number and there is a fair tolerance from pre‑race numbers to post."

During the pre-race pace laps, Denny Hamlin's car lost tungsten ballast, sending the Daytona 500 winner to the pits for replacement and resulting in a four-race suspension for Crew Chief (Chris Gabehart), Car Chief (Brandon Griffeth), Engineer (Scott Simmons), through June 10, 2020.

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2020, Issue 5, Posted 3:00 PM, 05.26.2020