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Jeff Gordon's Take: On teammate Jimmie Johnson

 Jeff Gordon: another bad day at the office, and he is more than just miffed now with teammate Jimmie Johnson (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Well, looks like Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon haven't made their peace.
   In Sunday's Talladega 500 they could have worked together and tried for the win, in a race that was anybody's to win, all afternoon.
   But at the end of the day the two Rick Hendrick teammates had crashed out and were griping about each other's racing tactics.
   What the heck is going on here?
   These are not only teammates but generally two of the most mild-mannered, most polite guys in the sport.
   But the past few weeks there has been a decided edge between the two...perhaps partly because over the past two years or so Johnson has won 17 times and Gordon only once.
   Gordon was victim in his crash, that left him 22nd. And he was hot:
   "Well, I got collected....I don't know what happened.
    "I'm just excited that we finished on the lead lap, to be honest with you. I think it's been a while since we finished on the lead lap."
    Uh, the incident with Johnson?
    "We got a huge push down the back straightaway, maybe Ryan Newman gave me a big shove," Gordon said. "And I was coming 10 mph faster than anybody....
    "And Jimmie is testing my patience, I can tell you that.
     "It takes a lot to make me mad, and I am pissed right now.
     "When a car is going that much faster....
     "I don't know what it is with me and him right now, but whatever."
     The racing was hot but clean till the final miles. "It doesn't matter until two or three to go," Gordon said.
    "That's what I was so excited about -- I got shuffled back there and then I got a shove from somebody (a bump draft), a huge hit....and with the momentum I was just gone.
    "We were going to drive by some cars...and then Jimmie decided to change three lanes and keep me from going by him.
    "That's just not cool when you've got cars going that much faster than you.
     "So maybe he just didn't know it."
    And Gordon and Johnson had just had a peace talk after some bruising Monday in the Texas 500.
    "Yeah, it's disappointing," Gordon said. "I don't think it was a very smart move.
    "I mean, you turn the wheel left like that, when a car is coming, and somebody's going to have a problem.
     "I did everything I could to keep from wrecking him. I did.
     "I saw what he was doing...and I knew I couldn't go under the yellow line to pass him. So I did everything I could to check up.
    "But somebody was still pushing me, and turned me, and I actually got into him.
     "But he's been testing my patience, and it's about reached its boiling point."
    And Johnson's side? He finished 31st after getting caught up in another incident a few minutes later, with Greg Biffle.
    Well, Johnson was still trying to sort out his own deal: "There were two or three cars off the pace, and there was a big group of us going by them.
    "Clint Bowyer, and maybe David Ragan were on the inside, and then Greg Biffle was kind of in the middle...and we were all going around them.
     "As I was trying to fish my way through the center of those three cars, unfortunately Greg and I just slightly touched, and it knocked me a little sideways, and then I lost control of the car."
    Actually Johnson was trying to swerve around Biffle, who had gotten a slow restart, and apparently inadvertently Johnson chopped Biffle off, triggering the crash.
    "I was trying to squeeze through those guys, and the hole closed," Johnson said.

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   Jeff Burton may have had the best car in the field, but he, like Gordon, had more bad luck...in the same incident, ironically (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Is it me or has Johnson just

Is it me or has Johnson just lost his mind the past couple of weeks? He didn't race this stupid his rookie year. Hell, the kid is not even here yet. Can't wait to see the dumbass moves he makes after waking up in the middle of the night for a couple of months. What a goof.

i agree. granted, these guys

i agree. granted, these guys cant see anything out of these cars, and the spotters are, well, i wouldnt want that job. someone once said get rid of the spotter and let the drivers race....but JJ, on Biffle, that didnt look very smart to me.

I think Johnson's head is

I think Johnson's head is pretty swelled with all of the success he has had. He clearly blocked Gordon and almost caused a huge wreck there, and he was clearly at fault for his big wreck with Biffle. Someone needs to knock this guy around, whether it's his teammate or someone else. It's proven a little discipline on the track does wonders for calming these guys down, even a 4 time champ. See BK after Edwards punted him...he's been pretty quiet since just like I predicted here.

i think that this will light

i think that this will light a fire in the 24 team, could lead to some interesting finishes this season

4 fresh tires and JJ had a

4 fresh tires and JJ had a severe case of overconfidence plus he figures that because he's the reigning champ of the chase for the chumps, that everyone will just give him the position. Wrong! He screwed up when he tried to block Gordon that early on so I figured it was justice and karma when he tried to make a move without enough room to do it in.

It's almost like Johnson

It's almost like Johnson thinks he could do well without Rick Hendrick and Chad Knaus. Maybe we'll find out when he ends up driving for RPM replacing Kahne.

Whatever. You girls quit your

Whatever. You girls quit your crying. 48 was trying to draft with 24

I think Johnson was a

I think Johnson was a terrible "team mate" at 'Dega. Watching the race, there were countless times that he would get a push from a team mate, and then ditch the team mate. Other times he would push a team mate, only to leave them high and dry when the first opportunity arose for him to better his position. I understand at the end (last 20 laps), it is every man for himself, but c'mon man. At one point, the 88 got on the rear bumper of the 48, then the 24, got onto the back of the 88, then those 3 got onto the rear bumper of the 5. 4 Hendrick team mates, on the bottom, making a move to the front. They should have all stayed nose to tail for the next 50 laps.....what happened, the first chance Johnson saw to leave the Hendrick train, he jumped ship, Gordon lost the draft and fell back, Jr couldnt move up to the 5, and it was a disaster for 3 of the 4 team mates....Johnson couldnt stay in line with his HMS team mates for more than half a lap...

The move that made Gordon mad, was the same thing that Vickers did to Jr in last years Daytona 500, based on most reactions Vickers wasnt wrong for doing that, so I guess Johnson isnt either..... Personally, Johnson made a legal block, as did Vickers, but its a STUPID move Just let the guy go.....

Ah, the REAL good old days of

Ah, the REAL good old days of Hendrick Motorsports when Geoff Bodine's engines were starved of parts because Tim Richmond's guys were given first choice, when Darrell Waltrip couldn't get along with Waddell Wilson, when Ricky Rudd proved a cancer in the garage all four years he raced there, when Hendrick made his vanity movie of 1990 (Days Of Thunder) and it wore out his team where they blew up a lot and won just once that year, when Gary DeHart got into a squabble with Randy Dorton in 1997 and subsequently quit barely a year after winning the championship, when Ricky Craven was POed in 1997, when Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch were involved in seperate feuds within the Hendrick fleet, and now the guy Gordon ostensibly recommended to Hendrick - BTW, it was GM racing boss Herb Fishel who put Johnson into stock cars and there was no way Fishel would ever let Johnson go anywhere other than Hendrick when the time came for a Winston Cup effort - has won four titles and is involved in dustups with Jeff.

Who says the good old days are gone?

Yeah, you'd better find the

Yeah, you'd better find the best spotter that ever existed. With the getup the drivers wear, I don't think they can even turn their heads. Spotters can win or lose the race for you or at least take the criticism or allocades for it. You don't hear much about good spotters, just the ones who make errors.
I can't wait for Jimmie's baby to be born...see how he likes being up all night. Hope he loses all of the concentration that he has.

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