Jimmie Johnson has had the worst luck imaginable at the Clash at Daytona.
The seven-time champion might go down as the best driver in NASCAR history, but for some reason he struggles at the season-opening exhibition race.
For the seventh straight year, Johnson failed to finish. He came about as close as you can get without finishing this year as he crashed on the final lap, and the curse continued.
Johnson finished 74 of 75 laps before contact from Kyle Larson’s No. 42 car sent Johnson into the wall.
“I had some contact from behind and we got turned into the outside wall,” Johnson said via NASCAR.com. “I haven’t had a chance to look at it and see what exactly happened, but the nose on our Chevy is pretty pointy. I was pushed by a Chevy, so I don’t know if that had something to do with it or not. I just need to get a good look at the replay.”
Johnson started off the race well as he adjusted to the new Camaro. He was running fourth when he crashed on the final lap.
“Yeah, I guess we’re the first real crash at speed with that (configuration),” Johnson said. “I kind of forgot about it once we got going. I think the cars look cool, and they’re going faster, which is more fun from our standpoint. It makes handling a little more of a premium.”
Johnson has had a string of bad luck since about the halfway point of last season. He won three races in the first half of 2017 before struggling in the second half of the season.
Hopefully for Johnson’s sake his tough finish at the Clash won’t be a sign of things to come for the 2018 season.