Jimmie Johnson will use a backup car for the rest of the weekend at Auto Club Speedway following an accident Friday in the first Cup Series practice session. Johnson lost control of his No. 48 Chevrolet as he went through the middle of Turn 3 and 4 with about 24 minutes left in the session. Johnson missed Kurt Busch, who was down on the apron, before plowing into the grass in Turn 4. With minor damage to his left-rear and grass in his grille, Johnson returned to the garage. “Qualifying has been tough on us (at Auto Club Speedway) for the last few years,” Johnson told Fox Sports 1. “We just showed up to the track swinging hard trying to get all that we can. Crossed the line there for sure and
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he is “getting closer and closer” to talks with Hendrick Motorsports about a contract extension after saying last month he wanted to gain confidence in his health before he looked beyond this year. “I don’t want to make any promises I can’t deliver on,’’ Earnhardt said at the time. Earnhardt, the 14-time most popular driver, was asked Friday at Auto Club Speedway where he stood with his future in the sport.
Kurt Busch filed a multimillion-dollar countersuit Friday in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern District of Michigan against Sports Management Network, which sued the NASCAR driver for $1.4 million. Busch, who is demanding a jury trial in the counterclaim lawsuit, alleges that the sports management company and its law firm “improperly advantaged themselves” along with the interests of clients Team Penske and Andretti Autosport. The countersuit states that Busch wasn’t made aware of such conflicts and wasn’t advised to seek independent counsel. Busch and SMN entered into a representation contract in 2005 that was extended Aug. 11, 2010 while Busch was driving for Penske (he previously was with