Jimmie Johnson’s Lead Shrinks as Part Confiscated

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Filed under: Race Report 



Jimmie Johnson saw his lead over Denny Hamlin shrink to 6 Points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings following Hamlin’s win in the Tums Fast Relief 50 at Martinsville Sunday.

That lead may vanish altogether by Tuesday if NASCAR issues a penalty for a part that was confiscated from the No. 48 Chevrolet before the race started.

Dale Earnhardt Jr led 90 laps in today’s race after starting from the 28th position. Junior’s No. 88 was just tight enough to make it fast and he rocketed through the field to the lead.

No. 48 crew chief Chad Knaus saw how fast Junior was coming. H e radioed to Jimmie Johnson “if you hear a great scream and roar you’ll know that Dale took the lead” as Earnhardt closed in on the top spot.

As the field closed in on lap 300 that roar happened as Earnhardt passed Jeff Gordon for the lead.

For 90 laps Earnhardt Nation cheered on their driver. But when Dale made a pit stop the adjustments made the car too tight and it would no longer turn in the corners. Earnhardt fell back to finish 7th.

Gordon turned by Busch

Jeff Gordon was a little too aggressive when he made contact as he passed Kurt Busch on lap 385. Busch immediately returned the favor and put Gordon into the inside retaining wall. I don’t think the payback fit the crime. Do you?

Trouble between teammates

Richard Childress Racing teammates Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick had a little dust-up for several laps as both drivers complained that the other was bumping and banging them.

“I don’t know what you’re speaking about, to be honest with you.” ~ Jimmie Johnson

Part Confiscated from No. 48

Prior to the race NASCAR confiscated a drive shaft cover from the No. 48 Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson. The part is headed back to NASCAR’s Research & Development in Charlotte.

If the part is found illegal will they issue a penalty or let it slide? A drive shaft cover seems like a pretty insignificant part as far as a competitive advantage goes. But remember that Clint Bowyer was docked 100 Championship Points a few weeks ago for an height infraction that amounted to about the thickness of a quarter.

That penalty cost Bowyer the lead in the Championship standings. Will Jimmie Johnson get the same call?

In the media center after the race Johnson pleaded ignorance about the part in question. “I don’t know what you’re speaking about, to be honest with you. Is this before or after, Johnson asked. When told it was a pre-race issue Johnson responded: “I don’t have a clue. Not my job, man, as Juan would say. “

We’ll see what NASCAR has to say.

Mark Martin went 2 laps down early in the race after a crash into the outside wall. Martin rebounded to finish 2nd in a wrecked race car. “Really a great time, great recovery from two laps down,” said Martin.

“That last hundred laps was fun. I’ve had guys pass me and I wondered how in the world they did that. Now I see how. What an incredible race car that Alan Gustafson and everyone gave me.”

As always your comments and opinions are welcome. What was your take on the race?

 

 

Comments

48 Comments on Jimmie Johnson’s Lead Shrinks as Part Confiscated

  1. john on
  2. Jimmy should receive the same penalty that Boyer received. I don’t know what difference a drive shaft cover makes ,but the samewould apply to the bumper on Boyer’s car that the wrecker pushed up.

  3. steve on
  4. If it was a non-legal part yes the same as boyer, if not nascar will look like a idiot! if it lets johnson and hendrick go unscaved!

  5. tom on
  6. If he had an infraction, stick it to him. It should be across the boards, fine, penalty, points, suspend Knaus….fair is fair.

  7. bonnie mccoy on
  8. DALE JR THAT WAS GREAT TO BAD HENDRICKS CALLS THE SHOTS HE DON’T WANT YOU TO WIN THE THE JJ SUCKEE..GO JRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  9. Eric on
  10. Its Jimmie, you know they will let him slide!!!!!!

  11. marcel on
  12. All you cry babies, why not wait to see what the problem is before you condem him. What a bunch of kids.

  13. james on
  14. I think they let it go and that hurt nascar more , fans are tired of them letting everything slide with j.j. and hendrick if he wins or gets the champianship this year nascar will lose a lot of fans and viewers. They over look anything they do i bet it cost hendrick a bundle but he can afford it but his time is coming.

  15. Barb F. on
  16. Hmm an illegal part thats fishy maybe thats why he has been winning.If it was good for Clint than it should prevail for Jimmy as far as point lose but we will see.Jr did good hope next year is much better for him.Go Denny hope the championship goes to you.

  17. Bill Bolek on
  18. I was just reading the comments that were made about Clint Boyer and Jimmy Johnson and you need to realize that those are two different circumstances. Clint Boyer’s penalty came after the race, Jimmy Johnson was found to have the wrong part one his car prerace so he was actually racing what the right part.

    As for NASCAR’s policy of “Have At It Boys”, the officials need to pull their heads out of their asses and have their eyes checked said they will know the difference of “bump and run” and a “blatant wreck”. That move that Kurt Busch did to Jeff Gordon was totally uncalled for. I was personally waiting for Jeff to be watching for that Miller lite car in his rearview mirror and just as he was passing wrecked his sorry ass.

    It seems to me that NASCAR officials are more worried about other things than one of these drivers killing someone else on the track. Come on people get a grip, instead of worrying about a car are being off by an insignificant amount after the race worry about what is going on during the race.

    Thank you very much.

  19. Sue on
  20. JR,
    We R so PROUD of you. Bring that same car to DEGA this coming week. JR. NATION is looking for a WIN here in DEGA. We know U can GET ER DONE.
    I got a pit pass hope to meet you this time around. God Bless and you warmed a whole lot of the JR NATION hearts today.

  21. Mavis on
  22. If Jimmy had an illegal part he should get the same penalty as anybody else including a crew chief suspension. Great race for Jr. Unfortunately I had to leave soon after he took the lead so didn’t see what a great run he had leading the race. Seventh was a good finish compared to what has been happening.

  23. Debbie, Allen, & Jeremy Broome on
  24. Go Dale, Jr. We knew you still had it in you. Sounds like the crew messed you up again. Jr. fans forever!!!!

    I am so glad that he is doing better .What he need to do is keep his mind on the track .He is still one of the top drivers I love him as much as I ever love his dad.
    Dale just needs a lot of love my thoughts are that the frends he has need to stop
    giving him a bunch of crap. And start helping him have a good outlook on him self
    people just care abought the man
    He is a good person !!!. June Bug please read that little bible I gave you and it will
    get better .I know it has worked for me.

    GOD. BLESS
    Thorp388
    Ron

  25. BEAU PUSTIAK on
  26. OK I DONT KNOW WHAT THE OUTCOME IS YET… BUT I SAID BEFORE THEY WANT A TOYOTA TO WIN.. AND THATS IT.. THEY WILL FIND SOMETHING WRONG .00004 4TENTHOUSANDS OF AN INCH OFF.. NASCAR IS PAID OFF……………………………………….TOYOTA CHEATS SINCE DAY ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. eric on
  28. clint boyer part was found after the race was over , jimmies part was found before the race so he didnt have the part on the car during the race so the same penlty should not be the same for jimmie , clint raced with the illegel part jimmie didnt . go jimmie win no. 5 championship get job jimmie!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. june patton on
  30. I’ve said it many times, give Jr. a good car and he can drive it. Was so happy today when Jr. took the lead and stayed up there for quite a while. Love you Jr. always be my boy.

  31. lady Red on
  32. SOMEONE finally set up a good car for Jr. He still is a great racer when he has a good car. Good to see Jr. nation alive and well. If Jr. can’t win the chase then I hope it is Denny, enuf of JJ and Knaus. He will never be a fan favorite. Regardless of when they found the “wrong” part there should be some sort of penalty. Everyone knows the way Knaus operates and it is time they lost a few points like everyone else. I can hear the outcry now if they get away with it and it will be well deserved. I look forward to ’11 because Jr. will be back in front where he belongs one way or another. 88 will reign!!!!

    Speaking as a business woman, I know that a lot of “deals” are made behind closed doors and if there was something found ” BEFORE” the race then there is NO infraction and the car should not have been confiscated. In the case of Clint Boyer, the problem was found AFTER the race and therefore there may have been a problem, but then again it was so minimal it was not worth the effort that NASCAR made of it. Again another reason to create a fine.
    Dale Jr. has proven again he is a very good driver, if just left to do his own thing. He made it a point to let Lance know just what the car needed and would not take no for an answer. He made the calls and showed the racing world that he still has what it takes by following your “gut” feelings. GO JUNIOR….WE NEED MORE OF WHAT YOU SHOWED TODAY……FOLLOW YOUR GUT FEELINGS.

  33. Judith Hatton on
  34. GREAT JOB JUNIOR!! I am a Tony fan though I like many of the drivers. I feel all drivers need to be treated the same. Bowyer was pushed by a wrecker after a race, after being checked prior to the race and at that time did not receive a fine of 150 points off etc. Now Jimmie was found with something before the race, let’s see how fair NASCAR is in their fines. Amazing when this was found and taken, Jimmy came in 5th. I feel if NASCAR does not follow through, they will find their crowds to be even lower. What is good for one driver is good for them all. What happened to stock car racing that didn’t cost 150,000 for one car for one race. Give the average man a chance to attend with his family again!!!!! Jimmy and Chad should get the same as Clint and his crew. By the way, when you have a segment with a crew chief, we have 42 other creew chiefs that are smart guys or they wouldn’t have their jobs. Of course once in a while we here from Bootie Barker but usually it is the Chas show. Give the other gus a chance.

  35. Ncrdbl1 on
  36. Hello Mike and Brian, the entire NASCAR nation is watching. Are you going to do what is right and follow precedent you established earlier. Or are you going to let it slide to promote your drive for 5 farce. If you let things slide do not be surprised when your downward attendance trend becomes a free fall.

  37. Mama Donia on
  38. It was GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, seeing Jr. up front. We all knew he could drive a race car and it showed today at Martinsville, on a short track. Those nay sayers need to shut their mouths, when they say he can’t drive a race car, yes he can. Hope Lance and the guys are finally listening to Jr. and are getting the car better, maybe next year will be Jr’s year.

  39. Patch on
  40. The one thing that I was looking for in the comments from our little Peanut Gallery here, was how did NASCAR happen to check JJ’s Drive Shaft Cover. It has been said that if you ain’t cheatin you ain’t winnin. Whether it is true or not, most of us believe that Pro Wrestling is theater and everyone does whatever they think they can get away with to win a race. It is like the holding call in football. Sometimes it is called and sometimes it is not. So what led them to check JJ’s Shaft Cover? Don’t get me wrong, I am glad they did but perhaps there is a little Watergate going on here too. Glad Jr showed that he could drive. It has been a while and I was beginning to wonder.

  41. Ron on
  42. I have no idea how these people think on here but Johnson never got on the track with this illegal part, never Raced with this on the car. Why are people so vindictive, is it because Johnson has won the Championship 4 times and they do not want to see him win it again?

    I agree with one poster that said to wait until all the facts come out, see if this part did indeed help him to come in 3rd? It wasn’t even on the car, how much can I stress it is NOT the same as Boyer, Boyer ran the entire Race with his car out of Race Form, NOT the same as Johnson, Why so vicious, why so mean? JJ’s car NEVER Raced with this part and it could NOT have helped if it wasn’t even available.

    Please use your heads for something more then a Hat Rack, he never raced with this part and even if he did, would it have helped him gain more ground near the end of the Race???? I think NOT……….

  43. Ron on
  44. SO CALLED ILLEGAL PART, NASCAR has not determined if it was illegal or not, let this play out and see what happens. He most definitely does not deserve to be penalized as badly as Boyer, Boyer ran an entire Race and WON.

    I’m not even saying that Boyer’s Fine was right, 1/64th of an inch can NOT make that much of a difference, even is Cry Baby Denny Hamlin WHINED like a little girl and got his wish, NASCAR crucified Boyer for this tiny infraction, NOT RIGHT either!

  45. yankeegranny on
  46. Great effort for Jr. Now on to “Dega where he used to rule.

    As far as JJ and the confiscated part, now it is wait and see. I think they will be a minor penalty, maybe 25 points or so. NASCAR has to do something to spice up the chase.

    We have 4 races to go; it only takes one to knock one of the chasers out and I sure hope Hamlin is the one who gets knocked out. “Dega could be the one that decides the championship. Wouldn’t it be interesting if BIG BAD BRAD (who had his first top 10 this week) finally paid Denny back for wrecking him at Homestead last year and knocked Toyota out of the championship.

    My choice to win it all is MR HAPPY HARVICK. Hope you do well at “Dega and come in second to JR, with Hamlin and JJ waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the 30′s.

  47. Ron on
  48. BEAU PUSTIAK: Thanx, I was beginning to think it was just me and my prejudice of foreign cars, PERIOD! I have said all along, since Toyota entered the NASCAR Arena that they WILL find a way to get on top of everyone else. This is an American Sport, there was a time that you would NEVER see a foreign car on the track.

    I know there are people that will be against this post and myself but the Automobile is an American Invention, our technology and it should stay that way! We STILL build the better car, maybe not the cheapest, I mean how can you compete with people working for $.50 cents an hour? Even the Plants these manufacturers have in the US don’t mean the car was built here, only assembled!

    I use to work for GM and seen how these foreign cars came into the US, they came in here @ a price nobody could compete with. Once they built up a customer base they began to build more and more expensive cars, putting so many Americans out of work.

    If the American people ever want to get back to work they will start to think about what they are doing to our own businesses, putting them OUT OF BUSINESS! Putting so many of our own people out of work. In this economy it seems that many Americans just can not see the Forrest through the trees and don’t care if their neighbors are working or not as long as they can buy Foreign Made Cars!!

    It truly is a Sad situation, Buy American, watch as we start to Grow again!!!! Think people, I doubt I am wrong…..

    Found this on another site this morning…..

    It wasn’t confiscated..NASCAR asked for the change per John Darby…
    tweet from Bob Pockrass from earlier today:

    Darby said 48 drive shaft piece was a little loose from being put on and off a lot. nascar asked for change. No penalty.

  49. Ron on
  50. mamadew88: Thank You for clarifying what seemed to be such a Big Deal to Hamlin Lovers! Not particularly a Johnson Fan but think it would have been wrong to penalize Johnson the same as Clint Boyer. Boyer ran with his car out of Race Trim by 1/64th of an inch, no big deal to me, but what do I know. Johnson NEVER even got on the Track with this piece that everyone seems to think was such a Big Deal and wanted his head on a platter! Totally wrong….

  51. Elaine on
  52. BEFORE OR AFTER, THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON TOO LONG WITH THE 48 AND SUPER CREW CHIEF, CHAD. SO THE PENALTY SHOULD BE THE SAME IF NOT WORSE THAN BOWYER. THIS IS ALSO NOT THE FIRST TIME THEY HAVE BEEN CAUGHT. STICK IT TO THEM NASCAR.!!!!!!!! WAY TO GO HAMLIN. YOU WON THAT ONE FAIR AND SQUARE.

  53. Kelley on
  54. For all of the nay sayers out there, you just put in your notice that if given the car you can drive it to the front, JR. Up front or not, I will always be watching you!!!

    I just received my copy of the 2010 Subway Jalapeno 250!!! It was just as much fun watching you win on DVD as it was live on TV! My heart was pounding even though I knew the outcome. Your talent will shine through again, I have no doubt!!!

    Screw JJ!!!

  55. HoneyOne on
  56. Jr, Jr, Jr…….I love this guy.

  57. Dean on
  58. Why not wait and see before we condem jj Some of you act like children!!!!!

    And I would like jj to win than any of the Gibb drivers.

    Carry on i’m outta here

  59. AZomah on
  60. Yes, Jr. did have a good run and finished decently.

  61. Grace on
  62. That part must have been illegal other wise Knause wouldn’t told JJ that he could not do anymore for him he was on his. By the way Johnson knows everything that Knause does to that car.I knew every time that 48 car went out on the track that it was illegal.He should get the penalty like Boyer did but Boyers car was legal until that truck hit it & even the truck driver said that he hit that car pretty hard.Johnson won the chamionship last year with an illegal car. who ever heard of almost illegal.

  63. Terri on
  64. I feel the 48 team has been cheating all along – how can Johnson have a fast car every week but his other 2 teammates don’t??? I can’t stand Chad and Jimmy is getting just as bad – they think they own Nascar – I pray Jimmy Johnson does not win another championship – sick to death of them -

  65. Ron on
  66. OK for ALL you folks that are so upset and THINK you know so much about NASCAR. The part in question was NOT an ILLEGAL PART, it was a WORN Drive-shaft cover that could have fallen off during the Race! Johnson did nothing wrong and neither did Chad Knaus, so try to act like adults and see what really happened before you fly off the handle!

    What happened to Clint Boyer was uncalled for, to Fine him 150 points, plus suspend his crew chief & give him a big Fine should NEVER have happened, that is a FACT! I think NASCAR is looking out for Joe Gibbs boys, Cry Babies Hamlin & Busch. I believe in my heart that NASCAR wants THEM to win this years Cup and they certainly do not deserve it.

    What Kyle “Cry Baby” Busch did to Jeff Gorden was uncalled for and HE should have been Black Flagged. If I were Gorden I would have put that little *** ** * ***** into the wall, WRECKED HIM, put him out of the Race and the Points standing! GO JR………………. Next Year Buddy!!! :)

  67. Lanny on
  68. Chads been cought cheating before , How long has he been cheating and not got cought this time NASCAR will let it slide. if JJ is behind they thow a yellow to let him catch up and they wonder why attendance is down fans will watch cartoons and get just as much out of it. JJ must be on the rules committe.

  69. Sandra on
  70. Boyer and Johnson is two different things like comparing oranges to apples.
    Clint Boyer had use last years car, that is why 16th inch difference on all sides of the car. If it was from the wrecker it be just on the back.
    Drive Shaft Cover, do you people know what it is. All Jimmie does is drive it.
    Hamlin is now 6 points behind and NASCAR is doing everything their best to give the championiship to Hamlin this year.
    NASCAR is stupid since Brian France has taken over.

  71. Pam Moyer on
  72. I was in attendance at Sunday’s Martinsville race, and I must say that Jr. did a fantastic job keeping up to about 90 lead laps, I am a Jeff Gordon fan, and I wasn’t happy with what Busch did to him, what happened was an accident, and I was always taught that 2 wrongs definitely don’t make a right, however, Jeff wasn’t wrong, he made a wholesome mistake, Busch was totally wrong. And the subject of Jimmie Johnson, well, I’ll give you my take on this whole situation: When he was introduced in the driver introductions, he got more boos than Gordon use to get, and he didn’t run so hot as he usually does, maybe he felt “lost” without the illegal part in his car!! He seriously needs to get a grip on reality and know that people will not pay to see him win yet another championship. You might say that the name “Race to the Chase” should actually be named “Race for yet another Jimmie Johnson Championship”, and that actually would sound stupid!!!! Enough said!!

  73. LINDA S on
  74. OH YEA CHEATIN CHAD AT IT AGAIN.. I SAY SOCK HIM WITH A BIG PENALTY.
    WAY TO GO DALE JR.. AWESOME!!! WISH YOU COULD HAVE A GOOD CAR EVERY RACE …. GO 88

  75. Bev.Estabrooks on
  76. i DON’T CARE IF IT WAS BEFORE THE RACE OR AFTER THE RACE . iT IS THE INTENT THAT YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT . jOHNSON SHOULD GET THE SAME FINE AS ANYBODY ELSE AS WELL AS CHAD KNAUS. JUST BECAUSE IT IS THE CHASE SHOULD NOT ALTER THE PENALTY CRITERIA. IF THEY DO LET IT SLIDE THERE WILL BE EVEN MORE EMPTY SEATS . FANS ARE SICK AND TIRED OF NASCAR DOING WHAT THEY WANT TO CERTAIN GUYS AND NOTHING TO THEIR FAVORITES.

  77. goldie on
  78. First, all Jr. Nation fans came out of their seats Sunday, shouting and hollering, even the fans at home I’m sure were out of their recliners too. What driving!!! That’s the ole Jr. we saw and were we proud. We’ll see you again Jr. at Dega and will you show us again some of that awesome driving? As far as Knaus is concerned, would he have raced with that illegal part if it had not been discovered? I agree with the comment about intention and I’m sure if it had not been detected, he would certainly have run with it.. Cheating has been going on since I have followed racing and that’s been a long long time, so it’s nothing new for someone to try, try again to get by with it. I say penalize them……

  79. Anne on
  80. Well, I guess you all know that Jimmy Johnson will not be penilized. There was 3 other drivers this year that had parts on their car befor the race and nascar made them take it of the car befor the race. But they got finded. So you see folks no one will ever win the tidle as long a JJ is around. It’s a shame that people have to cheat like Chad. And nascar wants to know why the fans are sick of watching sprint cup. once a cheater always a cheater!!!!!!!!

    Go DALE go!!! Great race!!! I agree that Toyota should not be in the race they are not American and we do not want these foreners inour races who have put our people out of work .It looks to me Nascar is being paid off by Toyota so Nascar is going to let them win just watch and see. the annoucers are all Toyota you never hear about our good old Chevs anymore. Mark Martin did a great job at the end . now watch and see what was illegal with his car they will probabely take away his win and penalize him next because its a Chev

  81. Carole on
  82. I’m still on cloud 88 after watching the race Sunday. IMO, Jr. can still drive a race car. All he needs is a decent one, and his crew chief to listen to him and make all the right adjustments. Can’t wait to see him at Talladega and if all goes well, we might see him holding a trophy!!!!!

  83. Carole on
  84. As for Jimmie, there’s always two sides to the story. But if the 48 team was wrong , the old saying is ,what goes around comes around.

  85. Dave on
  86. Loose drive shaft cover vents pressure build up from under car into driver’s compartment enhancing downforce. Remember the loose oil tank covers? If it was cracked and worn out, it means it has been used before. JMO

  87. REGAN on
  88. nascar will not touch the golden boy! but they should do the same to him as they do to others. nascar has got to the point that they are a joke! no wonder the seats are empty. GO JR TEAR THEM UP AT DEGA!!!!!!

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