DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Jimmie Johnson‘s final season as a full-time driver will end without another title.
The seven-time NASCAR champion missed the playoffs in the Cup Series regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway after being involved in a multi-car crash with five laps to go.
Johnson’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, William Byron, won the race in overtime and locked up one of the three postseason berths available going into the finale. Matt DiBenedetto finished 12th and secured the final spot. Clint Bowyer wrapped up a berth at the end of the opening stage.
Johnson got caught up in a melee with five laps remaining, one started when Denny Hamlin made contact with Joey Logano. Byron squeezed between the two, took the lead and held on after a green-white-checkered finish.
It was Byron’s first Cup Series win.