For the first portion of Saturday night's race at Bristol, Jimmie Johnson looked like he could return to his dominating ways. And heck, even after Kyle Busch passed him for the lead he was one of the heavy favorites.
But as has been the trend with the No. 48 bunch over the last few weeks, the race turned south in a hurry. However, it's doubtful that anyone on the team could have done anything about this one:
"It was a restart, so everybody's running hard and we came down the back – and I've got to look at the video – but I thought I left him enough room on the outside lane there," Johnson told ESPN after the race. "And we're on the straightaway for a little bit and then all of the sudden I got hooked with force. It's not like we bumped and banged and I squeezed him. I thought we were on the straightaway and everything was fine and around I went.
"I don't think it was something intentional. I don't think he was trying to dump me, I just have to look at things and see. I really thought I left him room."
As you can see from the replay, Johnson really didn't crowd Juan Pablo Montoya, and it looked like Montoya might have even moved down a little bit.
Montoya was apologetic on Twitter after the race.
Had a pretty good car all day. Felt pretty bad about recking jimmie but I guess that's how racing goes sometimes.
The crash knocked Johnson down to ninth in the points standings. But don't get worked up, Vader-haters, he's in no danger of missing the Chase.