Johnson "did all we could" to make NASCAR playoffs

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson said he "did all we could" after missing out on the playoffs in his final full-time season

Johnson "did all we could" to make NASCAR playoffs

With the final places in the playoffs still to be decided heading into Saturday's final regular season round at Daytona, Johnson finished fifth in both of the opening two stages, but was taken out in a late-race pileup that limited him to 17th place in the final reckoning.

That wasn't enough for the Hendrick Motorsport driver to progress to the playoffs, with team-mate William Byron taking his maiden Cup Series victory while the Wood Brothers Racing Ford of Matt DiBenedetto finished 12th to deny Johnson for the 16th and final playoff spot by just six points.

Johnson, who also missed the playoffs in 2019, missed the Brickyard 400 after testing positive for COVID-19 and was also disqualified from finishing second at the Coca Cole 600, scoring zero points in both races.

"We had a really good car," lamented Johnson, who was blameless in the crash instigated when Joey Logano suffered a cut tyre and spun into Matt Kenseth, who in turn hit Johnson.

"The last couple of months, we've been really getting our act together and running well.

"[I'm] definitely disappointed to not be in the playoffs - that was the number one goal to start the year.

"But when I look back at the disqualification at Charlotte and then missing the Brickyard 400 due to my COVID-19 positive test and only miss it by six points - we did all that we could this year.

"I'm so thankful for Hendrick Motorsports and the career that I've had there, the relationship with [sponsor] Ally and their continued support for this race team.

"Cliff Daniels and these guys on my team - they pour their guts out for me.

"There's 10 races left, 10 trophies to go chase and we'll have to focus our efforts there."

Johnson, who recently tested an Indycar with Chip Ganassi Racing at Indianapolis and signalled his intention to race other categories after curtailing his NASCAR career, posted a simple message on Twitter following the race: "I'm down but not out. Bring on Darlington!"

shares
comments
Byron claims first NASCAR Cup win at Daytona, Johnson misses play-offs

Previous article

Byron claims first NASCAR Cup win at Daytona, Johnson misses play-offs

Next article

Byron credits plan "to be aggressive" with securing NASCAR playoff spot

Byron credits plan "to be aggressive" with securing NASCAR playoff spot
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Nick de Groot
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020