Jimmie Johnson finds encouragement in calamity at Texas

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 08: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Texas – Leave it to Jimmie Johnson to find the silver lining in a disastrous day on  the race track.

After a promising start from ninth on the grid in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Johnson’s fortunes headed south in a hurry. First there was a loose wheel that required an unscheduled pit stop, result in a lost lap.

The coup de grace came after restart on Lap 178, when Denny Hamlin’s Toyota broke loose underneath Aric Almirola’s Ford and ignited a seven-car wreck that knocked Johnson out of the race in 35th place and down to 21st in the series standings.

Nevertheless, Johnson was happy just to be able to run in the top 10 – while it lasted.

“A strong Friday, a fantastic Saturday (when he led final practice) and then not the best Sunday,” Johnson said philosophically. “We had a lot of different things work against us today, but we’re getting closer each and every week, and I’m really proud of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports.  We will get back to our winning ways soon…

“Today we had plenty of speed, but just a lot of things worked against us. We just need a good clean weekend, and we’ll go to Bristol next week and see if we can do it there.”