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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