Are Jimmie Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus on the outs? It’s legitimate to think after the way Johnson exited Sunday’s race in Phoenix…a race he needed to win for any hope of capturing a record 8th Cup title. NASCAR legend Dale Jarrett sees it differently.
“I’m sure people are going to say now, I’m sure it’s out there, that it’s time for Chad to go, they need to split this up and do something different,” Jarrett said during a broadcast of NASCAR America and reported by yahoo.com “That couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
Johnson blew a tire on lap 150, then crashed into the wall. It ended his day and any hope to advance to the final four at Homestead. Jarrett points out that this has been a season of extreme ups and downs for the Hendrick Motorsports team, but they’ve hung together.
“They just have always been able to fix things. I had this conversation on Friday, that they’ve always shown us you can fix it,” Jarrett said. “This (Phoenix) was Mt. Everest they were trying to climb. They just couldn’t make it.”
Jarrett sees the team using all that happened in 2017 to prepare for and make them better next season.
“We didn’t hear them throwing things at each other – Jimmie blaming Chad or Chad blaming Jimmie, anything like that. They’re still a tight-knit organization and group. And I think that’s the biggest thing.”