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Jimmie Johnson sorry for comments



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Post Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:42 pm

Jimmie Johnson sorry for comments

Jimmie Johnson sorry for comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Five-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson apologized on Tuesday for ripping NASCAR for what he believed to be a bogus speeding penalty on pit road Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

Johnson called out the governing body during his post-race interview and again on Twitter after the penalty left him with an 11th-place finish that left him one short of tying the NASCAR record for the most consecutive top-10 finishes at 18.

At the end of the day, I called out NASCAR's credibility and judgment and I apologize for that.

” -- Jimmie Johnson

On Tuesday, Johnson said he was mistaken, that the timing segment that NASCAR accused him of speeding through was different from what he believed during the race.

"The fact is we were wrong," Johnson said. "I was referring to a segment I knew I couldn't get busted in. At the end of the day it wasn't the segment we were busted on."

Johnson said he shouldn't have made the comments without all the correct information, although he said NASCAR could take care of misinformation by making pit road speeds instantly available for drivers and fans to see.

NASCAR says it has no plans to do that.

"At the end of the day, I called out NASCAR's credibility and judgment and I apologize for that," Johnson said. "I was wrong. I guess I was right about the segment I thought I was speeding in. The report I got on Monday showed I was only going 8 mph.

"The problem is we were talking about the wrong box."

Johnson was caught speeding in timing zone segment 3, where his average speed was ruled 35.53 mph. The pit road speed at Martinsville was 30 mph with a 5 mph tolerance.

NASCAR has a minimum pit road speed for every track and then gives the driver a 5 mph tolerance. Pit road is then divided into segments called timing zones or lines through which drivers must stay below the minimum speed and tolerance. Inside that zone drivers can speed past the minimum speed if, for example, their box is inside that zone because the average time in the zone will be below the average due to the length of the stop.

Martinsville Results

A driver also can exit the pit box that is just beyond the timing line because his average time will be below the average speed with the stop computed.

In other words, drivers and crew chiefs have taken this to an exact science.

Once a driver is caught he or the crew chief is allowed to see a computer printout showing exactly where he sped. NASCAR insists there is no reason to post the speeds for all to see because it would give competitors a chance to figure out what another team is doing.

NASCAR also argues that the computers that measure pit-road speeds are exact and that the tachometers that drivers use to measure their speed sometimes are off. Drivers also have a light inside the car that comes on when they are close to breaking the limit.

Johnson's penalty came with 33 laps remaining as he was running second to Kyle Busch after the final pit stop. Johnson was adamant at the time that he wasn't speeding, that NASCAR penalized him for taking advantage of his timing zones by accelerating at well-planned out moments.

"I had this happen one other time where I do a good job of my timing lines, I knew exactly where I needed to accelerate, where I need to stop," Johnson told reporters immediately after the race. "There's just no way. The math that we do and way we know our timing lines, there's no way."

Johnson then suggested on Twitter that all pit road speeds should be posted for drivers and fans to see.

"If NASCAR wanted to eliminate speeding controversy, they would post the times for the world to see," Johnson, who is third in points, 12 behind leader Busch, wrote on Twitter in a reply to ESPN's Marty Smith.

Johnson said he hasn't heard from NASCAR, which in the past has fined drivers for detrimental comments about the sport on Twitter. If a fine comes, Johnson said, he hopes the money is put to good use.

Johnson believes the best thing for all moving forward is for NASCAR to make pit road speeds visible so drivers won't put themselves in the position he and others have been immediately after the race.

"It would be nice to have all the information, especially with the interaction we have with the media," Johnson said. "I was out of the car 15 to 20 seconds and right into interview. I hate to say something out of turn.

"We just want to know. How many times have we had people swearing on their family they weren't speeding? [Making speeds visible] would eliminate any of that in all shapes and form."

As frustrated as Johnson was, he was adamant that he doesn't believe NASCAR would change the numbers to suit its own purposes.

"I think that would happen," Johnson said. "I know it wouldn't happen."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.
Those who intentionally live off another’s labor will always want more free stuff!


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Post Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:17 pm

Re: Jimmie Johnson sorry for comments

If drivers are speeding on pit road, it’s time for NASCAR to show us the numbersBy Reid Spencer – Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Jimmie Johnson races to beat Kyle Busch off pit road late in the race. Johnson was nabbed for speeding, a charge he disputed after the race.

Sam Cranston
NASCAR Illustrated


Good morning, NASCAR. This is your Monday wakeup call.

It’s 65 degrees and sunny, and you have a credibility problem.

Who says so? Your five-time defending Sprint Cup champion. That’s who says so.

The good news is that it’s a problem with a quick, definitive fix.

A pit-road speeding penalty late in Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway cost Jimmie Johnson any chance he might have had for a victory at the .526-mile short track. He took the checkered flag in 11th place, his first finish outside the top 10 at the track since April 14, 2002, his first race at NASCAR’s oldest speedway.

To say that Johnson was miffed at the penalty is putting it mildly. First, he was adamant that he wasn’t speeding. Second, he accused NASCAR of reaction to perception, rather than reality.

“I wasn’t speeding,” Johnson said.” They didn’t like how it looked – the way I managed my timing lines. There is just no way. People will say whatever, but with the math and the way we know our timing lines, there is just no way.”

We’ve heard the refrain before. A speeding penalty spoiled Juan Pablo Montoya’s dominating run at Indianapolis in 2009.

“I swear on my children and my wife, I wasn’t speeding,” Montoya radioed to crew chief Brian Pattie after NASCAR informed the team of the penalty. “There is no way. Thank you, NASCAR, for screwing my day.”

According to NASCAR, Montoya was speeding through two timed segments of pit road in 2009. According to NASCAR, Johnson traveled 35.53 mph between timing lines entering pit road on Sunday.

Pit-road speed at Martinsville was 30 mph, plus a 5 mph tolerance that’s common to every race track. Pit road is divided into timed segments, and drivers must remain below the speed limit-plus-tolerance, on average, through each segment.

When a driver speeds through any of the segments, the speed registers on a computer in NASCAR scoring and glows red. Teams are allowed to view a printout of their segments after the fact.

Crew chiefs and drivers try to push their pit-road speeds to the absolute limit. That’s their job. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus have refined timing-line management to a science. If you choose a pit stall, for instance, that’s just beyond a timing line, you can drive as fast as you can exiting the pit box through the rest of that segment because, having stopped for 12-14 seconds, you can’t possibly exceed the average speed.

That’s why Johnson’s Chevrolet looked like a dragster Sunday relative to other cars rolling through the timing zone that contained his pit stall. That’s one of the reasons he was first off pit road after his first two pit stops.

But was Johnson speeding on entry late in the race? Sorry, yes. And was Montoya speeding at Indy? Yes to that one, too. The computers and transponders that measure pit-road speeds are precise, even if the devices that measure them inside the cars are not. With no speedometers, drivers must rely on an RPM calculation and sequential lights that tell them when they’re approaching the danger zone.

In that respect, it’s almost like eyeballing the spot of a football and then measuring to the precision of one chain link.

But that’s not the problem.

On Sunday night, nearly three hours after the race ended, Johnson posted the following comment on his Twitter account: “If NASCAR wanted to eliminate speeding controversy, they would post the times for the world to see.”

He’s right. It’s no longer enough to show teams a printout after the penalty or after the race. Speeds need to be available real-time in the TV booth and in the press box, so media can reassure viewers that justice was done.

For that matter, fans in the grandstands should have access to the same information, whether on a scoreboard, FanView or smart phone.

It’s all about perception. NASCAR can do everything right and still have its enforcement questioned, if the process appears shrouded in secrecy.

If there’s a reason not to enhance the fan experience while simultaneously bolstering the credibility of the sport, let’s hear it.
Those who intentionally live off another’s labor will always want more free stuff!


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Post Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:33 pm

Re: Jimmie Johnson sorry for comments

well cry-baby Johnson thinks he can do no wrong but got busted

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