The games team owners play

Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, talks with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2016 in Homestead, Florida. (Getty Images)
Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, talks with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2016 in Homestead, Florida.  (Getty Images)
Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, talks with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2016 in Homestead, Florida. (Getty Images)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Don’t be surprised if you see a Tony Stewart bobble head as a hood ornament on Jimmie Johnson’s car in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

But Johnson’s team owner, Rick Hendrick, confessed on Friday that’s he’s been known to make subtle additions to his cars to confound other owners, all of whom are watching closely.

“In the garage area, you watch everybody,” Hendrick said. “It’s the damndest place I’ve ever seen about snooping.

“Sometimes you’ll put stuff on a car just to watch them take a picture of it, and it really doesn’t do anything. But it’s just fun to watch them run around and take a picture of it.”

SHORT STROKES

Jimmie Johnson led Saturday’s first practice with a lap at 174.345 mph, but his No. 48 Chevrolet ran over a piece of hose near the exit of Turn 4 roughly 10 minutes into the final session. The team examined the splitter and changed the right rear tire before sending Johnson back onto the track. The No. 48 Chevy was 10th fastest in final practice…

Carl Edwards can draw considerable satisfaction from Saturday’s two practice sessions. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota posted the third-fastest single lap in the opening session, and Edwards was at the top of the chart in 10-lap average, running 169.062 mph over his first 10 circuits. Edwards was second quickest behind Martin Truex Jr. in final practice at 174.031 mph (Truex ran 174.289 mph)…

Defending series champion Kyle Busch, on the other hand, didn’t have the speed shown by his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate. Searching for different lines around the 1.5-mile track, Busch was 28th fastest in Saturday’s first practice and improved to 14th in final practice.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.