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Johnson salvages 9th-place finish at Michigan

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BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson encountered more trouble Sunday at Michigan, but this time he was able to salvage a solid finish.

Johnson finished ninth, his best showing since a seventh-place run at Sonoma on June 22. He has not had a victory since winning the June 15 race at Michigan.

“Yeah, we still had these obstacles,” Johnson said. “That’s the thing we’ve got to figure out within the next few weeks. The clock is ticking and we’re running out of time on that front. But we have fast race cars and they keep saying we show it during the race, but the results haven’t been there.”

The weekend got off to a rough start Friday when he was 30th in qualifying. Johnson actually led for 21 laps Sunday, but a gear shifter broke in his car.

“Somebody handed me some tools and I didn’t have a lot of success getting that fixed,” he said. “They had some contraption with a vice grip to try to figure that out, and it fell off before I even got back to pit in under caution.”

Johnson was able to move back into the top 10 by the end of the race. At one point, he and Ryan Newman bumped sides on the backstretch, and the two drivers had some heated words after the race.