Jimmie Johnson qualifying shunt caused by dislodged steering wheel

Jimmie Johnson confirmed on social media that the source of his bizarre accident was far from your usual suspects.

It was not caused by a tire or part failure, but by the steering wheel of his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet actually coming loose.

Speculation began soon after the accident with racer Chad Finley being one of the first to name the steering wheel as the culprit. 

The accident happened during the third round of qualifying and although Johnson timed in fifth quickest, he will have to start from the rear because of the need to go to a backup car.

Johnson initially gave a vague answer in regards to the peculiar accident, saying "I don’t know for sure (what happened). That’s why we have to go back to the truck and talk about things.

"We’ll have to get to the bottom of it and see what went on. But, just a really hard impact to the outside wall. I’m thankful that we have Safer Barriers and soft walls. I’m very disappointed because we had a very fast race car and the guys have been working so hard to get this thing tuned-up.

"Thankfully, we have tomorrow to work on the back-up car and try to get it up-to-speed and get it going, but this is certainly not what we wanted right now.”

He later tweeted this:

"It doesn’t help any that is for sure," the four-time Phoenix winner said of having to go to a backup car. "You get things scienced out pretty nice on this race car even though its in qualifying trim. Tomorrow we will have to start over and find our travels and heights and all those kinds of things. At least we still have tomorrow, if this was in Happy Hour tomorrow it would be a whole different story. At least we have tomorrow to work on it.”

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Phoenix
Sub-event Friday qualifying
Track Phoenix International Raceway
Drivers Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Article type Breaking news