» BACK TO CRASH.NET

Crash.Net NASCAR News

Gordon and Johnson at it Again

26 April 2010

Barely 48 hours after it appeared the Hendrick Motorsports teammates were ready to sing Kumbaya together, Jeff Gordon found himself angry again with Jimmie Johnson following the Aaron's 499 Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Gordon was getting a run in his No. 24 Chevrolet on the low side on Lap 183 -- just five laps from the scheduled finish -- when Johnson suddenly moved down and cut him off. That caused Gordon to check up and fall back, but after getting his car under control he almost immediately found himself caught up in a wreck that nearly ruined his day.
Although he eventually professed to be relieved "just to finish on the lead lap," the 22nd-place finish that was at least partly the fault of Johnson cutting him off left Gordon fuming at the four-time defending champion for the second week in a row. They bumped and banged each other six days earlier in the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, and afterward talked disparagingly of one another -- only to arrive at Talladega on Friday to tell the world it was all behind them.
Maybe it was. But it isn't now.
"The 48 is testing my patience, I can tell you that. It takes a lot to make me mad -- and I am pissed right now," Gordon said. "I got a huge hit of momentum and I was gone. We were going to drive by a bunch of cars -- but then the 48 decided to change three lanes and keep me from going by him. That's just not cool when a car is going that much faster than you. Maybe he just didn't know. But we'll take what we can get out of here and move on to the next one.
"I don't know what it is with me and him right now. Whatever."
Johnson ended up getting involved in another accident involving Greg Biffle later on Sunday's second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. Johnson finished 31st.
Both Gordon and Johnson seemed headed for better finishes earlier. Gordon said he just didn't understand what Johnson was trying to accomplish when he blocked him.

"It's disappointing. I don't think it was a very smart move," Gordon said. "But sometimes these cars get such a shove and get so much momentum, it's more of a coincidence that it was him again. But if you turn your wheel left like that, and somebody's coming, somebody's going to have a problem.
"I did everything I could do to keep from wrecking him. I really did. I saw what he was doing and I knew I couldn't go underneath the yellow line to pass him, so I just checked up. But someone was still pushing me and kind of turned me, and I actually got into him."
Dale Earnhardt Jr., one of Johnson and Gordon's teammates at Hendrick Motorsports, said no one should make too much of the latest dustup between the two.
"Did they collide again [Sunday]? I don't know, man. I think the media makes a lot more out of it than it really is," Earnhardt said. "We have team debriefings on Tuesdays, and those boys laugh and joke about the stories in the media (that are reported) about it. They get along fine. They get along good."
In some ways, Earnhardt said it is inevitable that the two run into each other more than others might.
"Both of 'em want to be champions. You can't fault them for both being so damn good they keep running into each other," Earnhardt said. "They're battling for the same spots all the time. They're just really good, and they end up meeting each other up front toward the end of a lot of these finishes."
Still, Earnhardt said he's certain that it will all blow over by the next Hendrick debriefing.
"Jimmie's got a great personality and everybody likes Jimmie; and Jeff is Jeff. He's been around a long time and earned everybody's respect," Earnhardt said. "Everybody's going to butt heads once in a while, but they joke around about it during the week. It ain't no big deal -- because (team owner) Rick (Hendrick) ain't gonna let 'em do too much to each other."
Maybe so, but immediately following Sunday's race Gordon didn't sound like he would be getting involved in a group hug with Johnson anytime soon.
"He's been testing my patience and it's about reached its blowing point," Gordon said.

"It's disappointing. I don't think it was a very smart move," Gordon said. "But sometimes these cars get such a shove and get so much momentum, it's more of a coincidence that it was him again. But if you turn your wheel left like that, and somebody's coming, somebody's going to have a problem.
"I did everything I could do to keep from wrecking him. I really did. I saw what he was doing and I knew I couldn't go underneath the yellow line to pass him, so I just checked up. But someone was still pushing me and kind of turned me, and I actually got into him."


» BACK TO CRASH.NET