Jimmie Johnson had some strong words for NASCAR after Sunday's pit road speeding violation knocked him from contention to win the Goody's Fast Relief 500. But two days later, Johnson reversed course a bit and apologized to the sanctioning body.
“The fact of the matter is we were wrong,’’ Johnson said during a media teleconference on Tuesday. “I was misinformed and referring to a segment that I knew I could not get busted in, I thought that’s where we were busted, but at the end of the day that wasn’t the segment we got in trouble on.”
Johnson did stand by his opinion that NASCAR making pit road speeds public would enhance the sport particularly for fans.
“I’ve made this point before and still think it’s a very valid point that if the pit road segment times were broadcast live for everyone to review it would eliminate this finger pointing. At the end of the day, it’s probably not good for me to climb out of the car and call NASCAR’s credibility into judgment and I apologize to NASCAR for that. When you’re only dealing with part of the information and you’re in the heat of the moment it’s easy to react.”
Johnson was penalized for exceeding the pit road speed of 30 mph Sunday. With the five mile per hour tolerance NASCAR builds into the speed allowed, Johnson was pegged at 35.53 mph during a critical late race pit stop and assessed the penalty that in effect took him out of contention for the win.
While Johnson stands by his view of making the information more public he felt he was still out of line if his remarks put NASCAR’s credibility in question.
As for a possible fine from the sanctioning body, Johnson said “If I’ve got to pay a fine, I’ll pay it. I feel like I’m entitled to my opinion, right or wrong. I guess I was right on the area I was talking about but wrong in the scheme of things. If I said something that I’ve got to pay a fine, I’ll pay it. It is what it is. I just hope they put my money to good use.’’
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