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Not the Day Johnson was looking for at his home track

Finished on the lead lap, despite being down a lap most of the day.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 - Practice FONTANA, CA - MARCH 24: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, has his backup car unloaded during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2017 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson’s Sunday was not what the 7-time Monster Energy NASCAR Series champion was hoping for.  He started out in 37th place after having to go to a backup car and deciding not to qualify.  He was involved with an incident just feet after the start line on lap one.  At one point Johnson was shown in the fifth spot, but that was during a round of pit stops, so it didn’t last long.

Most of the day, Jimmie was stuck a lap down.  At one point with 44 laps remaining, while trying to avoid fellow competitor, Martin Truex, Jr., Johnson had to pit at a 90-degree angle compared to normal.  After he came out from that pit stop, he was two laps down.  He didn’t pit when the rest of the field did, so that he could get one of those laps back.

However, do to some late race cautions, he was able to eventually get into the “Lucky Dog” position (first car, one lap down).  In NASCAR, every caution that there is a car one lap down, that car is able to get its lap back and go to the end of the pack.

The El Cajon native will try and rebound next week when the circuit returns to the East Coast to race at the shortest track, Martinsville.  Martinsville Raceway is a 1/2-mile track that has the nickname of “The Paperclip” as the track is in the shape of a paperclip.

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