Jimmie Johnson will compete in today’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway without car chief Jesse Saunders.
Saunders was ejected after the No.48 Chevrolet failed pre-race inspection at the optical scanning station three times. The issue was with the rear toe. Johnson will also have to start at the rear of the field today and will lose 30 minutes of practice time next weekend when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visits Phoenix.
Johnson’s car passed inspection on its fourth time through.
“I’m not sure, I’ve never been in this situation,” Johnson said on the FOX broadcast about the impact for the race. “Last weekend there was some teams that had the same thing take place and they lost their car chiefs and still had good finishes. Any race team out here is bigger than one person, I guess Jesse is not going to be with us today [but] we have a lot of people who are very talented and ready to get going.”
Lee Leslie, the car chief for the No. 15 of Ross Chastain has also been ejected.