Garage Chatter: Martinsville

Johnson crashes during tire test: Jimmie Johnson crashed during a crucial Goodyear tire test this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Officials have spent $3 million resurfacing the racetrack after last year's races were plagued with cautions and tire...

Johnson crashes during tire test: Jimmie Johnson crashed during a crucial Goodyear tire test this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Officials have spent $3 million resurfacing the racetrack after last year's races were plagued with cautions and tire failures.

Bobby Labonte, Kevin Harvick, Scott Riggs and Johnson were the only drivers participating in the test. Johnson was the only one to wreck.

"I'm not quite sure what caused it," Johnson said. "I know they are looking at it and I'm sure they'll figure out what happened. There wasn't much else we could do, so we packed up and went home. For the time I was out there, the track still felt like Lowe's Motor Speedway. It just seemed much, much smoother than it's ever been."

Johnson was unhurt in the crash.

Gordon fined: Four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, was fined $10,000 by the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing for shoving fellow driver Matt Kenseth post race in Bristol.

It is the first time in Gordon's career that the sanctioning body has had to penalize him for any conduct related issue.

"We were all racing hard there at the end for position and he was holding everybody up," explained Gordon after the race in Bristol. "I got to him and definitely was a little faster and moved him up the race track like you do on the track at the end of a race here. We went down into one and he decided to wreck me instead. It is pretty disappointing. We had a great car.

"I am sorry that happened. I like racing with Matt, I certainly didn't enjoy racing with him today. I showed him my displeasure. I get fired up too. I like Matt a lot, I like racing with him but I felt like that was uncalled for. We will keep racing hard against him in the future."

Martin adds more races: Mark Martin's retirement isn't working out very well. He was cajoled into running another full season of Nextel Cup dates and now he and Roush Racing have added another seven Truck races to his plate.

Martin was set to run only seven events, but will now run races at both Martinsville events, Dover, Bristol, Loudon, Talladega and Phoenix.

"We are excited about it," said Martin. "It's been a blast driving the Scotts F-150. I've said for a long time that I believe that the Truck Series has the best racing in all of NASCAR and we've had a lot of fun doing it. "We've kind of come out and set the bar high -- winning the first two -- but I'm telling you that the competition is really good in that series and it's a big challenge to go out and take on those guys every week."

Harvick/Busch feud now annoying: Some media outlets are comparing the Kevin Harvick/Kurt Busch sniping at Bristol as a match of the McCoys and Hatfields. Hmpff. At least they had guns. It's more like two whiney Chess club geeks with runny noses fighting over their ongoing game of 'Dungeons and Dragons'. In case you missed it, here's where it starts - during a visit to the media center Friday in Bristol,

Harvick said, "I think I'd have probably whooped Kurt Busch before now. Obviously you forgot about getting punched in the nose last time from Jimmy Spencer. I probably shouldn't have said that. I'll still tell ya what I think. I'd still like to whip his ass. Before the year is over, he'll make a fool out of Roger Penske. We'll just have to wait and see. But anyway, I shouldn't have said that either. It's hard not to pick on a guy when his ears are pinned back."

After Busch's race win he comments on Harvick,

"I'd really like to put this down and ice this down really. Kevin Harvick is a guy, when he was sitting probably in these chairs the other day doing a press conference. Somebody talked to him about his contract. He's up for renegotiation. He just wanted to turn the audience to a different direction, which was 'hey, I don't like Kurt Busch because I ran into him last week at Atlanta.' It was David Stremme who wrecked us last week. He's got a beef. If he had won the race today and I had finished second, I would have gone to victory lane to congratulate him."

What ever happened to a good ole' fashioned fist fight?

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Jimmy Spencer , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , David Stremme , Roger Penske , Mark Martin