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Hornish takes out points leader Johnson
Jimmie Johnson's seemingly inevitable march toward his fourth consecutive Sprint Cup title was thrust into doubt on the third lap Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Contact with Sam Hornish Jr. sent Johnson into the wall on the backstretch, and the No. 48 car sustained major damage that required a comprehensive rebuild in the garage area. Johnson started the race with a 184-point advantage on the field with only three events remaining in the season, with a chance to clinch the championship next weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The wreck changed all that, cutting a substantial chunk out of his lead in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

Johnson was racing high through Turn 2 when Hornish, driving below him, appeared to wiggle from slight contact from David Reutimann. Hornish slid up the track and into Johnson, who wobbled and brushed the outside wall, but appeared to have the car saved -- until he and Hornish made contact once again. This time there was no correcting it, and Johnson's car rocketed down into the backstretch wall and sustained major damage.

"I got hit by the No. 00 [car of Reutimann] and was trying to catch it, and then got into Jimmie. I feel bad for him, because I didn't want to take him out," Hornish said. "It's an unfortunate set of circumstances. Obviously, you don't ever want to detract from the championship when you're really not even involved in it."

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