HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Just as drivers were arriving at their race cars on a crowded Homestead-Miami Speedway starting grid, Championship 4 contender Jimmie Johnson‘s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet was pulled off the grid and NASCAR officials told the team it had to go through inspection one more time.
Officials ruled that the team had made “unapproved body modifications” to the A-Post sending the car to the rear of the starting grid, instead of the 14th-place starting position it earned in qualifying for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race.
All the action happened as drivers were making their way to their cars after pre-race introductions. The entire Lowe’s Racing team pushed the car off the grid and back into the garage to an inspection station. The team made some quick adjustments, got NASCAR’s OK, and pushed the car back out to the grid.
Walking back from the garage to his car on pit road, Johnson simply shrugged and said he had no idea what drew the inspectors’ attention.
The whole situation lasted less than 15 minutes and Johnson and his car were on the grid as usual before the pre-race ceremonies began.
Johnson is trying to become the third driver in NASCAR history to earn seven Sprint Cup Series championships, competing against defending Sprint Cup champ Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Joey Logano for the title Sunday.