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INDYCAR NEWS 

Johnson surprised by lawyer's charges

Jimmie JohnsonReigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson says he is shocked by the charges his lawyer Alan Miller is facing for being involved in Helio Castroneves' tax evasion scandal.

Miller has been Johnson's attorney for many years and represents other NASCAR drivers including Casey Mears and Clint Bowyer. He faces charges for assisting Castroneves in avoiding paying takes on US $5.5 million income between 1999 and 2004.

Johnson has been surprised by the recent news and says he is keeping a close eye on developments.

"It's certainly shocking," said Johnson. "Alan has been my attorney since I was 15 years old. He's been a great friend and has helped me with a lot of different things. I have an outside tax group that I use, so he really is my attorney.

"As of now, everything is still the same. I'm learning a lot as time goes on here and there is still a lot to be investigated and covered moving forward. So, I'll certainly keep my eyes on the subject and (will be) trying to figure out what's going on."

Johnson says he prefers to wait for the facts to come to light before making any judgment on Miller's situation. He says his relationship with him remains unchanged for now.

"As time goes on we'll all learn and understand more," Johnson added. "But I'm just kind of holding tight right now and making sure that when I start making decisions, that I have all the information at that point in time."

Johnson's teammate Jeff Gordon was also shocked by the news involving Castroneves and anticipates the Brazilian will now go through some difficult times within the coming weeks.

"It's unfortunate," Gordon said. "I'm a huge of fan of his and he's a great friend of mine. He is going to go through some tough times. That comes along with the good times. When you're on top people want to tear you down and sometimes you have to deal with that.

"Let's just see how it all plays out."

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