Jimmie Johnson passed Michael Waltrip after the yellow flag was thrown in Chicago while vying for the third position with 33 laps remaining in the race, thus ignoring the gentleman's agreement. Michael Waltrip and Slugger Labbe comment on the ...
Jimmie Johnson passed Michael Waltrip after the yellow flag was thrown in Chicago while vying for the third position with 33 laps remaining in the race, thus ignoring the gentleman's agreement.
Michael Waltrip and Slugger Labbe comment on the subject:
Waltrip: "Every situation is different. Under the same circumstances at Chicago, I might have done the same thing Jimmie did to me. Jimmie did not run into me and he had a run on me during the lap and it's so difficult to make a pass, when you finally think you can do it, it can be hard to think about a flag flying over you. Who knows what I would have done in the same position. I am not condoning Jimmie's decision, because we do have this agreement we have been told to abide by. Mike Helton made a speech in Daytona and it would appear to me that some people were not listening.
"Taking a position under the yellow flag is like stealing, yet stealing is against the law. There is not a law against racing back to the yellow, so until NASCAR decides what they want to do, then it's a free for all."
Slugger Labbe: "Jimmie Johnson abused the gentleman's agreement on Sunday. If these drivers, all drivers, don't get their acts together, then (Mike) Helton is going to step in and make a rule and it is not going to be pretty. These drivers have to understand that the consequences of gaining one position under the yellow is not worth an official rule that might take away a chance of getting a lap back under other circumstances.
"In Sunday's case, Jimmie had a faster car and I know why he did it. In our defense, a position is still a position and you can not predict what will happen from one lap to the next. What if Jimmie had a bad restart? We would have rather been in front of him than behind him, so even though he was ultimately faster, a position is still a position and like any other team out there, we looking for the best position we can be in. Sure, circumstances are different for each car, but I believe in the gentleman's agreement simply because I do not want to hear that a rule has been made and that all positions are frozen when the yellow is thrown."