Jimmie Johnson stayed silent out of frustration
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Jimmie Johnson said Friday he was too frustrated to speak to reporters following his engine failure at Michigan.
The five-time NASCAR champion was leading with five laps remaining in Sunday’s race when the engine expired in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He quickly left the track, and uncharacteristically did not stop to talk to the media.
The win would have given Johnson a series-best four on the season, and earned him an additional three points toward seeding in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Instead, he finished 27th and dropped from first to fourth in the standings.
Additionally, championship contender Greg Biffle inherited the win – his second of the year – and earned the bonus points that Johnson had been eyeing.
“Last week with the emotion, there were so many levels of frustration that came through,” Johnson said. “From gifting a fellow Chaser bonus points, a win, to losing two engines that weekend and losing the championship points lead, which is really important to me. All that just came to a head and there wasn’t much else to say.”
His post-race disappointment was almost as newsy as his result, as Johnson rarely refuses to do interviews.
He said there was simply nothing to say.
“Everyone watching clearly knew I had an engine failure and that I was disappointed,” Johnson said. “Just didn’t make any sense to me to talk with everyone and draw further attention to the engine shop, which works so hard to put me on the racetrack week in and week out.”
Johnson will try to rebound Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. There are three races remaining before the Chase begins, and the five-time champion is essentially guaranteed one of the 12 spots in the field.