Jimmie Johnson must have a very big bucket sitting around somewhere at the Hendrick Motorsports campus in Concord, N.C. Either that or the bucket doesn’t have a bottom in it.
Johnson, a six-time Sprint Cup champion who has yet to win a race this season and, hence, does not have a Chase berth locked up, was asked several times
Friday about the wreck he was involved in with Brad Keselowski a week ago at Talladega.
Was he angry about being wrecked? And by a driver six laps down? And on a day he had a very good car? Would he consider retaliation?
Johnson just shrugged.
“It’s plate racing and you just throw it in the plate (racing) bucket and move on,” Johnson said.
Does Keselowski, the Team Penske Ford driver whose aggression on a race track is well documented, need a talking to?
Again, Johnson said, “I personally think that what happened in Talladega just falls into that restrictor-plate bucket that we just kind of overlook a lot of things that take place at plate tracks.”
With Johnson, who has 66 career Sprint Cup wins, moving to race No. 11 on the 2014 schedule this weekend at Kansas still looking for that first victory, an increasingly familiar question was put to him on Friday: Is he starting to get concerned?
“Until we are not locked in I mean there is nothing to worry about,” Johnson said. “Where we sit in points right now we are locked in. Of course we want to win; we want to win every race we go to. We have been in the ballpark and have been very close to victory a couple of times and it got away. Yes, there have been some poor performances. We are trying to raise that. I don’t think that we are where we want to be as a team right now, but we have had a few looks at wins and I know we will get a few more. We just need to capitalize on that. If not, points still matter. There is a bigger window to make the
Chase today than there was last year. Last year was 12, this year it’s 16. I don’t think there is anything to stress out about yet.”
Johnson is a two-time winner at Kansas. His average finishing position at the 1.5-mile oval is 7.5 – by far the best among all those who will take the green flag on Saturday night.