NASCAR legend Johnson defends his 'quivering lip' spat with Blaney

Jimmie Johnson says he has no regrets about his 'quivering lip' spat with NASCAR rival Ryan Blaney at last weekend's Watkins Glen Cup race

NASCAR legend Johnson defends his 'quivering lip' spat with Blaney

After Penske Ford driver Blaney collided with Johnson's Hendrick Chevrolet as they battled for a place in the top 10, Johnson confronted Blaney in the paddock.

He later gave a furious television interview in which he said he struggled to understand Blaney's defence because "his lips were quivering so bad he can't even speak", suggesting that he was "nervous, or scared, maybe both".

At this weekend's Michigan event, Johnson said he did not understand why his comments had been considered "a big deal" in the week between races.

"It was an observation, it was happening, I didn't hear a lot of details that I expected to hear," said Johnson.

"I could have gone into a much more intense line of thought and said a lot more that would have been a lot more damaging to him than saying his lip was quivering.

"I don't understand the sensitivity to that or why it's such a big deal.

"His lip was quivering and he didn't have a lot to say. It's one of the facts that took place in the conversation."

Johnson still feels Blaney was completely in the wrong for their clash.

"I was pissed off, I was crashed, I got drove through. Plain and simple," he said.

"I don't care how it looks or how it's perceived. I got dumped and I was upset.

"The way I was raised and the way I went racing was when something like that happens you go talk to the guy.

"I was taught not to use my car as a weapon, go out and try to crash a guy back.

"Fighting is really not my thing either unless I have to defend myself, so I went there and talked to the guy and hoped to hear a different side of the story than what I thought took place in the car.

"So that's the way I was raised in racing and the way I handled it."

With four races to go in the 'regular season', Johnson holds the last place in the title shootout as he sits 16th in the drivers' points.

He has not won a championship round since June 2017.

Keselowski on pole, Childress cars disqualified

Blaney and Johnson qualified seventh and 10th at Michigan on Friday, as Brad Keselowski put Penske on pole ahead of Kevin Harvick.

Both Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets had their times disallowed.

Friday practice pacesetter Austin Dillon had originally been seventh on the grid and tema-mate Daniel Hemric 11th but they will now start in the last two spots in the 38-car field on Sunday.

NASCAR said both cars lacked fully functioning alternators and both teams have been assessed an L1 penalty. The parts were confiscated by NASCAR.

Both drivers will get a 10-point driver and owner penalty and their teams were fined $25,000.

Provisional starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 37.801s -
2 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 37.877s 0.076s
3 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 37.954s 0.153s
4 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 37.993s 0.192s
5 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 38.007s 0.206s
6 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 38.018s 0.217s
7 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 38.035s 0.234s
8 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 38.044s 0.243s
9 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 38.076s 0.275s
10 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 38.117s 0.316s
11 Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 38.204s 0.403s
12 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 38.219s 0.418s
13 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 38.222s 0.421s
14 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.279s 0.478s
15 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.316s 0.515s
16 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.323s 0.522s
17 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 38.385s 0.584s
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 38.398s 0.597s
19 Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports Ford 38.439s 0.638s
20 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford 38.527s 0.726s
21 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 38.585s 0.784s
22 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.595s 0.794s
23 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 38.698s 0.897s
24 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 38.790s 0.989s
25 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 38.854s 1.053s
26 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 38.863s 1.062s
27 Matt DiBenedetto Leavine Family Racing Toyota 38.902s 1.101s
28 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 38.922s 1.121s
29 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 39.121s 1.320s
30 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 39.594s 1.793s
31 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing Ford 39.727s 1.926s
32 Quin Houff Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 40.004s 2.203s
33 Austin Theriault Rick Ware Racing Ford 40.133s 2.332s
34 Cody Ware Petty Ware Racing Ford 40.135s 2.334s
35 Garrett Smithley Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 40.319s 2.518s
36 Spencer Boyd Rick Ware Racing Ford 41.477s 3.676s
37 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet - -
38 Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet - -


shares
comments
The NASCAR Cup Series underdog fighting for career lifeline

Previous article

The NASCAR Cup Series underdog fighting for career lifeline

Next article

Harvick survives puncture to win the NASCAR Cup round at Michigan

Harvick survives puncture to win the NASCAR Cup round at Michigan
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021