Here are some of Jimmie Johnson's comments about his pit crew being swapped with Jeff Gordon's crew in the middle of Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway:
It's something new, for sure. It's nothing we've done in the past. But I just watched the World Series and when a pitcher is not doing his job, they make a change and get someone in who can. We know our guys are capable of doing it. We know it's possible. We just had some things going on today that we couldn't rebound from and it really put us in a bad position on the racetrack and it kind of led to the bad result today.
With everything on the line, we've got to perform. We have to do our jobs. We've been having some issues and today wasn't going any better and with the No. 24 out of the race, it was a good opportunity for us to try it. It might be different to our sport in some ways, but we've seen (Richard) Childress and other teams flip-flop crews around all the time. Man, you watch pro sports and if people aren't getting the job done, you've got to pull them out and put someone else in.
I'm not sure what the implications will be through the shop. We've been lacking and we need to get it straightened out and it was a good wake-up call for the guys, if anything, to bring the No. 24 crew in and let them do their job and let them watch. I really do care for these guys with the bottom of my heart. They're my guys. But, man, we have to perform. We can't come down pit road and lose 10 spots every stop. That's just killing us.
I knew the possibility existed and at this point in the game, you can't have feelings. You have to go out and try to win the championship. And if somebody's feelings got hurt, that's too bad. We're here to win a championship and we've got to do everything we can."
We might not have the options that we want next week. These guys, I know they have it in them. A lot of these guys have won four championships with me. Some have won three. So I know they have it in them, but every once in a while an athlete gets something in the head that slows them down or makes them over-think things. I don't know what the issue was. I don't want to say too much because I don't know what the problem was in the pit stops but we've got to perform.
The alarm clock has been ringing for a while. It's been ringing. And this is a new level to that. But the alarm clock has been ringing for quite a few months.
There wasn't anything discussed beforehand, but when I saw the No. 24 tore up and I heard a little bit of pit chatter about collecting guys on the radio, I had a feeling what was coming.
Everybody has kind of known in the back of their minds through the summer and all that we've needed a little bit of help. We'll keep training and we'll keep working and we'll see what we get.
All I can do is give 100 percent on my side. I don't train the crew guys. I don't work on the car. There's only so much I can do. I'm going all I can and I know Chad (Knaus) is and I know these guys are. Even though today it was an embarrassing moment for my over-the-wall guys, they're giving all they can. Sometimes you just get beat. That's the way it is and today it just didn't work out.