Jimmie Johnson Surprised By Chad Knaus' Talladega Comment, Reaffirms Team's Innocence

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."

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.