"We made some attempts during caution flags to make some big changes on pit road, but nothing really hooked the car up," he said. "We'll just have to dig in and find out what happened."
Johnson fails in quest to make history at Indy →
But time at the front can be short-lived at Talladega, and when Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus told his driver to get moving with 15 laps to go, Johnson and teammate Jeff Gordon barreled to the lead.
Hamlin avoids Talladega disaster →