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Johnson crashes early at N.H. due to tire failure

Loudon, NH (SportsNetwork.com) - Six-time and defending Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson had his race end early at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday when he suffered a blown tire and then crashed into the wall.

Johnson, who started this 301-lap race in second, experienced a flat left-rear tire on lap 7, forcing him to pit and dropping him one lap behind in 42nd.

Then on lap 14, Johnson's left-rear tire blew, sending him hard into the wall along the backstretch. He was not injured during the incident.

"The first [flat tire] I was able to drive the car all the way through turns 1 and 2 and knew I had a flat and then came in," Johnson said. "The other one just blew on the straight as soon as I hit the brakes. I'm not sure what caused it. I'm sure there will be a lot of speculation, and I'm sure finger pointing back to our team.

"But we've seen some issues here, especially with that particular tire the last couple of days. We'll try to learn more about it."

Other drivers have experienced tires problems throughout the weekend at this flat 1.058-mile track. Joey Logano had failure with his left-rear tire and crashed into the wall during Friday's practice, forcing him to a backup car. Aric Almirola, who won his first career Sprint Cup race last week at Daytona, also had to switch to a backup car for this event when he wrecked due to a tire issue in Saturday's practice.

"It's just a bummer," Johnson added. "I'm expecting people to quickly point back at the team and say it's our fault. I guess if it is, then we'll accept it. But the car was fast, and we had a great day in qualifying [on Friday]. It's just unfortunate that we're out early."

Johnson also had his race at Daytona come to an end early when he was involved in a 16-car crash. He finished 42nd there. With a series-leading three wins this season, Johnson is assured of making this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He came to New Hampshire third in the point standings.

07/13 14:39:44 ET

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Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
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MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
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RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
 
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
 
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
 
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
4th
WAKE 17
BC 23
 
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BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
4th
MARS 28
FATL 16
 
4th
PITT 21
GT 42
 
4th
SMISS 13
LATU 24
 
4th
MSU 28
MICH 3
 
3rd
KENT 24
MSST 31
 
4th
STAN 38
ORST 7
 
3rd
TCU 54
TTU 20
 
4th
OKST 10
WVU 20
 
3rd
WKENT 56
ODU 44
 
3rd
UTST 27
UNLV 13
 
3rd
MIZZ 17
VANDY 7
 
2nd
UCF 24
TEMPL 14
 
1st
WASU 0
ARZ 7
 
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3rd
SJS 1
BUF 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
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NYI
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PHI
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NAS
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Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14