BRISTOL, Tenn. —
Kenseth recovered and was racing back with the leaders later in the race, only to hit the wall late. He finished 13th.
Johnson was second before the rain delay when his tire came apart. He had to pit for repairs and dropped to 39th, two laps down from Kenseth.
Crew chief Chad Knaus grumbled on the radio that the tire wasn’t flat.
“The tread just fell off of it. There’s nothing wrong with it. The rest of the tire is ... great,” Knaus radioed. He then sarcastically said he was certain the team would be blamed for the tire falling apart.
“I’m sure it’s something we did. I’m sure it’s our fault.”
Goodyear quickly responded via Twitter, posting that Johnson’s team didn’t change the right front tires on its first pit stop. Going 115-plus laps caused the right front tire to wear through, Goodyear said.
Johnson wound up 19th.
Joey Logano, who led 12 laps early, had his problems when he lost power steering. He’d raced his way past teammate Brad Keselowski, only to lose it on pit road during a competition caution early in the race. The power steering went shortly after and Logano dropped to 28th in the field before the caution for rain stopped the race at Lap 124.
“I’d say 500 laps is going to be a lot longer than I thought it was going to be around here,” Logano said during the rain delay, speculating about how difficult it will be to navigate around the bullring without power steering.
“I was already huffing and puffing pretty hard trying to get the thing to turn. You can’t be quick with it. That’s the biggest problem, you can’t go fast. We’ll just have to fix it. The good thing is we’re (124) laps into this thing and there’s a long ways to go. The bad news is if we can’t fix it, we’re only (124) laps into it. So, either way, we’ve got our work cut out for us today.”
Team Penske made repairs after the rain delay and Logano was 39th when he got back on the track.
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