Bite your tongue champ

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15, 2012 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

LOUDON, N.H. — Jimmie Johnson was sorely tempted to comment about the late caution in Sunday’s Lenox Tools 301 that trapped him a lap down and cost him a probable top-five finish.

Johnson had just short-pitted on Lap 231 when NASCAR threw the yellow for oil on the track, courtesy of David Reutimann’s blown engine.

Though Johnson got his lap back as the highest scored lapped car and subsequently drove up to seventh place at the finish, the five-time champion tiptoed up to the edge of questioning the validity of the caution without going there — perhaps because negative comments by drivers about such things have earned monetary fines in the past. Â

“Yeah, I’m going to keep my mouth shut on that caution,” Johnson said after the race. “Anyway, we had a great race car. There was a lot of speed in the car. It was the Gibbs cars and the Hendrick cars, and at times I was the best Hendrick car — running top-two, top-three.

“But then that caution put us back in traffic. We still got through there decent.”

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