After the No. 48 Lowe's Chevy receives a written warning from NASCAR, J.J. says it was just a misunderstanding.
CONCORD, N.C. — Jimmie Johnson says he was surprised when NASCAR called out the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team for pulling out the side skirts on the Lowe’s Chevy at the All-Star race last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR advised teams before the season started that modifying the skirts to gain an aerodynamic advantage during qualifying and the race would not be tolerated after it became common practice last season — and in excess throughout the Chase.
When penalties were handed out on Tuesday, the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team and Johnson escaped with a written warning. The six-time Cup champion said once NASCAR knew the rest of the story, there was alogical explanation.
We were very shocked to hear that it was even an issue with the side skirts.
“We were very shocked to hear that it was even an issue with the side skirts,” Johnson said on Thursday. “Leaving the race track, NASCAR was upset and thought there was a lot more intent, something going wrong with the side skirt being pulled out. And as the video became available and they looked through it and watched and saw what was done, it calmed down.
“We were shocked to hear there was an issue. We actually had crash damage on the side of the car and it certainly turned out that way.”
Johnson finished 15th after contact with the Turn 4 wall. He’s looking for better results this weekend in the Coca Cola 600. Johnson has seven victories on the 1.5-mile track and is the defending winner of the event.