Jimmie Johnson: Rough Night In Richmond

Bryan CorraoContributor IMay 3, 2009

RICHMOND, VA - MAY 02:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, slides in turn 2 as Scott Speed, driver of the #82 Red Bull Toyota, drives past during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway on May 2, 2009 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Well tonight was a hard fought 36th place finish for reigning three time champ Jimmie Johnson.  Early in the evening he looked like he may be a force to be reckoned with, but as the night progressed things changed. 

On the first round of pit stops, Johnson was sent to the tail end of the longest line for a pit road speeding violation.  We all thought "big deal, he'll make up all the spots on the track," but later found out he would not. 

After another round of pit stops Jimmie slid back to 21st place, still on the lead lap and they diagnosed their problem as a rear braking fluid problem.  He was trying to hold on to it until either the next caution or the next round of pit stops, unfortunately he was the next caution.  He lost his car coming off of turn two and said he had no brakes.  They worked under the caution losing a total of two laps.  They had to come down and make a pass through penalty for, again, speeding, losing another two laps.  He then was four laps down trying to make up ground, but Richmond wouldn't have it. 

Later in the race he was spun along with four other cars involved and Johnson would have to go to the garage for repairs. Although Johnson would make it back on to the track, he would have no prayer in contending for the win—being 30+ laps down.

Eventually Kyle Busch would get the win after getting past race leader Jeff Gordon. Jeff Gordon finished eighth and Jimmie would finish in 36th spot.

Next week we will be in Darlington for another Saturday night race.  Will Johnson have any better luck there? We will find out next Saturday night and as soon as the race is over I will be on writing.  You can bet your bottom dollar.