What was appearing to be a strong second-place finish for Jimmie Johnson in his final Coca-Cola 600 as a full-time Cup Series driver ended up backfiring for the seven-time champion when his no. 48 Chevrolet failed post-race tech inspection.
Johnson will be disqualified from Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 after failing tech inspection and be put in last place of the finishing order. This means that Johnson will receive last place points and relinquish the 11 stage points he earned Sunday.
According to NASCAR Cup Series managing director Jay Fabian, the error for Johnson’s Chevrolet was in a rear alignment component that NASCAR often checks in the post-race.
“It’s the same thing that we check at least a handful of cars for post-race after every event,” Fabian said, “There is a pre-race number and a post-race number that does give a pretty decent tolerance. It was outside of those post-race numbers.”
The unusual circumstances of a more-condensed Cup schedule will still allow the no. 48 team to file an appeal of the penalty, under the rules of the existing penalty appeal system. However, the deadline for that appeal is yet TBA. Further penalties are yet TBA as well.
Johnson led twice for six laps in Sunday’s race and crossed the line in second behind race winner no. 2 Brad Keselowski, who passed post-race tech inspection.
Teammate no. 9 Chase Elliott will move up to second in the finishing order while teammate no. 24 William Byron will move up to 20th in the order, putting him on the pole for Wednesday’s Alsco Uniforms 500k.
Johnson now sits 15th in NASCAR Cup Series points, 4 points ahead of 17th place William Byron and 129 points behind points leader Kevin Harvick.
UPDATE (5:27 pm EST):
Per FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass, Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal the disqualification penalty issued against Johnson so the penalty will stand.