Typically, Jimmie Johnson is talking about his championship run at this point of the season.
Instead, Johnson was busy Friday answering questions about a suspect comment by crew chief Chad Knaus prior to last weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Johnson reasserted Knaus' innocence, saying NASCAR never raised an eyebrow while inspecting the No. 48 car.
"That car passed inspection multiple times throughout the course of the weekend," Johnson said. "At the end of the day, while Chad was trying to protect himself post-race, he made a foolish statement."
While he backed Knaus' story, he did admit he was "kind of surprised" when his crew chief leaned in and told him to wreck the back of the car, adding anyone could tell by his reaction in the car that Knaus' instructions were nothing he had ever heard before.
"This story can turn in a variety of ways and people are going to make of it what they want to," he said. "The facts are Chad released a statement, and that car passed inspection multiple times at the track. There really isn't more to it than that."
One of the best driver-crew chief combinations in the NASCAR garage, Knaus and Johnson have had their share of moments during this year's Chase. They have had heated discussions on the radio throughout races, Knaus accepted blame for Johnson's wreck at Charlotte and his surprise comment prior to Talladega caught his driver off-guard.
Despite their struggles this year, Johnson said those issues are nothing new to the team.
"There's no drama there," he said. "We've always prided ourselves in being honest with one another. There are times when he gets under my skin, and times I get under his. That's just pro sports. That's just the way it is."