Jimmie Johnson overcomes several obstacles, including Ryan Newman at Michigan

BROOKLYN, MI - AUGUST 17: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, MI - AUGUST 17: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, MI – AUGUST 17: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson scored his first win at Michigan International Speedway this past June. It was his first win at the track after many frustrating starts.  When the NASCAR Sprint Cup series returned Sunday Johnson was hoping to repeat that success.  For a time during Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 it looked as though Johnson would find more frustration. At the end of day however, Johnson rallied back to score his 11th top ten finish at Michigan.

It didn’t look promising Friday as Johnson qualified 30th.  Then Sunday he  pitted under the first caution on lap 5 while most of the field stayed out leaving many wondering just what he and crew chief Chad Knaus were up to. Johnson restarted 41st and it looked like he had a long day ahead.  Johnson stayed out on a competition caution on lap 21 giving him valuable track position.  He would take the lead from Ryan Newman shortly after the restart, and hold onto the top spot until he pitted under caution on lap 38.  He restarted 21st and was soon back up to 14th. He was able to get back to the lead as the rest of the field pitted under green on lap 69.

On lap 48, Johnson radioed his crew that the gear shifter in his Chevy had broken.  When he pitted from the lead on lap 76 the crew handed Johnson a pair of vice grips, but due to not being able to shift Johnson took an agonizingly long time leaving pit road.  He fell to 25th and lost a lap.  On lap 99 during a caution Johnson pitted again and the crew was able to effect repairs.  MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.