Working second behind chief Paul Menard on Lap 57 of the scheduled 75, Johnson moved to the within in an try to cross simply as Menard appeared to start a transfer to dam.
The 2 made contact, with Menard spinning and hitting the wall and the chain response collected all however a handful of all the 20-car area.
Shortly after the incident and earlier than the race may return to inexperienced, heavy rain lined the observe once more and introduced an early finish to the race.
“It was actually only a racing factor,” Johnson stated. “I used to be happening into Flip 1 and it was wanting darker and darker. I noticed my transfer and I needed to take it.”
The win was Johnson’s first victory in over a yr of any type, though it doesn’t rely within the Cup sequence standings. Earlier within the day Johnson’s teammate, William Byron, gained the pole for subsequent weekend’s Daytona 500.
Requested to undergo the incident, Johnson stated: “I knew the rain was coming, so I used to be making an attempt to set-up my transfer and make my run on the No. 21 automobile. I had it type of set-up down the backstretch a couple of laps previous to that after which my alternative got here alongside, I made that transfer to the within after which we type of acquired collectively.
“I’m undecided if simply the air breaking his bumper aircraft pulled his automobile over or if he was late to dam, however it was simply actually a racing factor actually. So, I made my transfer and sadly he acquired sideways and it collected a bunch of vehicles.”
Johnson stated he was nonetheless completely satisfied to start the brand new season with a victory.
“It feels good – an amazing day for Hendrick Motorsports, for Chevrolet, for Ally approaching board and qualifying third for the Daytona 500 after which to win the Conflict,” he stated. “Kevin Meendering (crew chief), main this staff; there have been numerous issues occurring. I’m extraordinarily excited to win. It’s not a factors race, however it’s a very good begin.”
Kurt Busch ended up second, Joey Logano third, Ryan Blaney fourth and Alex Bowman accomplished the top-five.
Rounding out the High 10 have been Austin Dillon, Elliott, Almirola, Newman and Suarez.
When the second phase went inexperienced on Lap 33, Menard led the way in which adopted by Blaney, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin.
The race reached the midway level on Lap 38 with climate persevering with to threaten and Menard nonetheless out entrance adopted by Hamlin and Keselowski.
Warning for rain was displayed on Lap 41. The race was halted on Lap 44 because the rain picked up. After an eight-minute delay, the race returned to warning.
Menard continued to prepared the ground when the race returned to inexperienced on Lap 48.
With 25 laps remaining, Johnson had moved as much as second behind Menard with Kurt Busch working in third.
Austin Dillon claimed the victory within the first 25-lap phase as a number of drivers elected to pit previous to its conclusion.
Kyle Busch grabbed the lead on the primary lap solely to see Menard, who began from the pole, reclaim it a lap later.
Seven laps into the primary phase, NASCAR displayed the warning when rain was reported across the observe. Menard led the way in which adopted by Keselowski and Bowman because the purple flag was displayed after 9 laps.
As soon as the race returned to warning, Harvick, Elliott, Jamie McMurray and Almirola all elected to pit. The race returned to inexperienced on Lap 13 following a greater than 21-minute delay.
Lots of the vehicles elected to pit previous to the break between the primary two segments.
Each Elliott and Hamlin needed to begin the race from the rear of the sphere as each groups had moved to backup vehicles.