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Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson not feuding

Posted on: July 8, 2011 12:09 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 12:09 pm
By Pete Pistone

SPARTA, Ky. - Last week's late race Daytona miscommunication between Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt didn't have any carryover according to both drivers who met the media Friday morning at Kentucky Speedway.

The Hendrick Motorsports teammates had worked together all night during the Coca-Cola 400 until the closing laps when Johnson came to pit road leaving Eanrhardt on track without a drafting partner.

The end result was neither driver was in position to make a run at the checkered flag in the wild closing laps of the race and both finished well outside the Top 10.

While Earnhardt was emotionally disappointed after the race and commented on his displeasure with the new tandem style of drafting as well as his confusion as to why Johnson headed to pit road, he says there is absolutely no animosity between the drivers or their teams.

".....didn't really bother me at all," Earnhardt Jr. said of Johnson's run to pit road. "I figured Jimmie would still have a good opportunity to get up to me and help us, and we were in fine shape until people forgot how to drive or thought they could disobey the laws of physics. They were trying to fit a square peg in a round hole."

Earnhardt said he understood the call by the 48 team and does not have an issue with their strategy.

"They got to do what they've got to do on pit road," Earnhardt said. "If they want to come pit, they've got to come pit. I can't argue with that. I'm fine with that. I don't have a problem with what he did.

"It seemed like just a normal damn race to me – the man wanted to go down pit road. No big deal. Caution was out. That's probably a good time to go down pit road."

Johnson said the plan to work together was working but that the change in his team's strategy was not intended at all to leave Earnhardt high and dry.

"Junior and I had the plan to draft together and hang out at the back and obviously it just didn't work out," Johnson said. "We came to pit road late and tried to together to draft to the front but it just didn't happen and we both got caught up in all that closing lap drama. But we'll continue to work together as a team always and there's nothing going on at all between the two of us or our teams."

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Since: Mar 2, 2007
Posted on: July 9, 2011 9:55 pm

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson not feuding

The real story here is racing is an individual team sport. Not a dual team sport. There is only one winner and the guy doing the pushing is nothing more than a patsy. Racing is a sport where all try to win using their own skills and efforts. This two car draft crap is totally getting away from the point of racing. Get this whole deal back on track and eliminate this two car draft BS. Junior is right. No need to get mad at JJ for doing what he needed to do with respect to the race. No one should have to count on anyone else to win. A win should be accomplished by an individual team that includes the driver and pit crew. NOT the need or assistance of another driver or team to win a race. NASCAR better get its S**& together before they ruin this type of racing. 

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: July 9, 2011 4:53 pm

This is a non story

Whats Dale gonna say. On one hand he says he hates the 2 car hook ups but then hes gonna turn around and cry about his 2 car partner leaving him. I just think Jr is alittle smarter than that. This story and all the hype around this seem to only be a ploy to pump something up thats just not there.

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: July 8, 2011 6:52 pm

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson not feuding

Not really sure why Jimmie went to pit road at that stage! It wasn't like he needed tires or fuel. It seams like he has some good finishes stalled this season because of late stops that are unneeded!

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