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NASCAR Apologizes to Johnson

NASCAR admitted a mistake in sending Jimmie Johnson to the rear of the field to start Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Johnson’s car failed inspection twice before the start of Sunday’s race. Rather than his 23rd position, NASCAR announced Johnson would drop to the rear of the field. However, there is no such penalty for a two-time inspection fail. That penalty applies to failing three times.

The mistake was recognized mid-race but by then there was no way to rectify the error.

“First, you talk to the team, and you apologize to the 48 for what happened,” Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president, and chief racing development officer. “It’s unacceptable on our part. Communication breakdown that happened right before the start of the race between kind of our inspection area on the ground and race control where I think there was an assumption that there was a third failure. There wasn’t. There was only two. In that case the 48 shouldn’t have started in the back. At this point what we can do is put processes in place to fix that so it never happens again.

“It’s disappointing. It’s not something you can fix during the race unfortunately. All we can do is own up to it and fix it. ”

Johnson, who wound up finishing 15th on Sunday, Tweeted his appreciation for the sanctioning body’s response.