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Jimmie Johnson’s “luck” doesn’t hold out in Kentucky

By admin | June 30, 2013

 Ole ‘Five Time’ had the best car in Kentucky but wasn’t able to make it to victory lane.

By Richard Allen

There’s an old saying that declares, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” There’s another old saying that declares, “Jimmie Johnson has a golden horseshoe stuck up his ass.” On Sunday in the Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway, it appeared as if the second of those two sayings would hold true for Jimmie Johnson. But in the end, it was the first saying that won out for the five time Sprint Cup champion.

Of course, Johnson and his #48 Hendrick Motorsports team have not won 63 races and five championships based entirely off of luck. But that is the perception at least some of his detractors have, so to at least a few, it’s true.

Early in the race, Denny Hamlin cut a right front tire and limped around to the pit area. As the #11 Toyota slowly cruised around an access road leading to the pits, his deflated tire came apart and a piece of it rolled onto the track. Leader Dale Earnhardt, Jr. nailed the carcass, which damaged the nose of the #88 car.

Johnson’s machine also hit the shredded tire, but his car did not suffer nearly as much damage as that of Junior’s. As a matter of fact, it seemed as if the crumpling done on the #48’s right front fender may have actually helped his handling.

Seemingly, Johnson is the only driver who could hit a piece of debris and actually improve his car.

Later in the race, Johnson and Kyle Busch attempted to maintain track position by faking a visit to pit road under caution then darting back onto the track. However, both drivers actually passed the pace car in so doing. That is supposed to draw a penalty from NASCAR, but it did not.

Clint Bowyer noted the lack of a penalty for the supposed infraction. “Tell the pace car, Brett Bodine, to not be brake checking. It causes people to pass him,” Bowyer sarcastically barked over his team radio. “Oh wait, I bet he had the cruise control set…at pace car speed.”

As the cars got the one-to-go signal for the restart at the end of that caution period, Bowyer added, “I’m going to just jump the pace car going into three and see if we can’t get a good run at it.”

However, Johnson’s so-called luck didn’t hold out for the full 400 miles of the event. On a late race restart, Matt Kenseth controlled the pace and caused somewhat of a bottleneck behind him. The #48 Chevrolet ultimately spun in turn two as multiple cars battled for position. That caused him to pit for new tires and fall to the back of the field.

“They better penalize that 20,” Johnson yelled into his team radio, referring to the speed at which Kenseth led the field to the green flag.

That comment prompted TNT television analyst Kyle Petty to remark, “Let’s just let Jimmie Johnson write the restart rules because he’s complained all year.”

Eventually, Johnson finished a disappointing 9th after leading a dominating 182 laps.

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8 Responses to “Jimmie Johnson’s “luck” doesn’t hold out in Kentucky”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    June 30th, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Luck and Kentucky Don’t Get Along! I would have offered Nashville Fair or Kentucky Motor (unrelated to Kentucky Speedway) in Whitesville, Actual Kentucky, not Louisville,Lexington or Cincinnati! The Kentucky Man and Woman is smarter than most folks realize,Rich!

  2. Judy B Says:
    June 30th, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I think Jr would have been happier w/P9 luck instead of P12 luck! #justsayin ;)

  3. Offkilter Says:
    June 30th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Well, the Jimmy haters should be happy that there is someone out there that can beat him. Sadly for those folks his name is Jimmy.
    The Jerry Springeresque line stating that there are folks out there that believe Jimmy winning 63 races and 5 championships due to luck is hysterical!

  4. mikeyfan5599 Says:
    July 1st, 2013 at 6:43 am

    And why wasn’t JJ and Kyle given the Black Flag for passing the Pace car? Selective enforcement of the rules once again. JJ should stop his whinning and realize he could have been in the back of the pack and having to fight his way through the field and with the right front damaged from the tire carcuss he could very well have had that dreaded push and cost him a lot more points. I like what Kyle Petty had to say. Maybe NASCAR should just let JJ write the rules on restarts so everything points to his advantage.

  5. Terry T Says:
    July 1st, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Hey Offkilter, since you are such a big fan of “Jimmy” you might want to learn to spell his name.

  6. Offkilter Says:
    July 1st, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Terry T, I scrolled up and didn’t see a typo with Jimmy’s name. Thanks for caring enough to post anyway.

  7. Richard Allen Says:
    July 1st, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Don’t know if this is a serious conversation or not, but Johnson spells his name Jimmie.

  8. Offkilter Says:
    July 1st, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Rich, thanks for the correct spelling. I am not being sarcastic this time around. I like Jimmie Johnson but I’m not a big fan like Terry T assumes me to be. I’ve been ignorant before and probably will be many more times. Now that I’ve been schooled on spelling, if anyone wants to talk racing, count me in.