NASCAR superstar Jimmie Johnson has voiced his relief that his second spin during Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte didn’t have worse consequences for himself and crew members on pitlane.
The six-time Sprint Cup champion wrecked the front end of his #48 Lowe’s Chevy after spinning off Turn 4 on Lap 274 of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. It was the second time he’d spun there in the race, but he’d escaped damage in the first accident.
Although he was perfectly unharmed in the accident, it was the risk that he might crash through the gap in the pitwall that truly scared him.
Instead, his car glanced off the SAFER barrier, missing the hole in the wall by a matter of feet.
“I thought I had that one saved,” said Johnson. “I got a little occupied on pointing it down pit road and driving off. I should have just let it spin all the way out. I had that one; I just lost it at the end.
"I could see the SAFER barrier and I could see that opening and I could see the #2 [Brad Keselowski’s] pit. I was frightened I was going to get through that hole.”
“It wouldn't have been pretty for me…”
Johnson has now called for changes to be made, in case a similar accident happens in future but with much worse consequences.
“It wouldn't have been pretty for me, but to have teams and stuff there that was something I was staring at sliding for a long ways,” he said.
“I was very thankful the SAFER barrier was there and wish we could find a way to extend a wall out and redirect the car away from that opening or close that opening up."