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Pole-sitter Johnson to start from the back

Jimmie Johnson, record-setting pole-winner Friday, will start todays NASCAR Winston Cup race from the back of the grid after crashing his qualified car in practice yesterday (Saturday) at Kansas Speedway

Henrick star Johnson, wearing in sets of tyres for the race, lost control off the second turn, veered left then hard right, and nosed into the outer wall, damaging the car beyond repair. The team rolled out its back-up car, and Johnson was able to conclude practice.

Under NASCAR rules, it is the car that qualifies for the race, rather than the driver. Thus, Johnson will be forced to drop to the back of field before the start of the race.

Johnson confessed he had gotten carried away with lap times. "I'm disappointed in myself," he said.

"It wasn't the conditions we're going to see in the race, and I just got sucked in. The competitor in me knew I could run a faster lap, and the car got away from me and got in the outside wall."

Ryan Newman, meanwhile, was fastest in final practice, recording a race-ready lap in 30.814s (175.245mph), with Bobby Hamilton Jr., making his Winston Cup debut, a surprising second. Bill Elliott was third, Tony Stewart fourth, and Jeff Gordon, bidding to go three-for-three at this three-year-old track, was fifth.

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