Jimmie Johnson was one of the many who enjoyed seeing the Toyota camp reactions to Brad Keselowski’s comments before last week’s race at Chicago.
Keselowski said he felt NASCAR had allowed Toyota teams to gain an advantage. The comment triggered his rival Kyle Busch so much that Busch responded with an acronym for “shut the (fun) up.”
“I think it’s awesome. I think Brad should say more, keep going, I don’t care,” Johnson said with a laugh on Friday at New Hampshire. “I choose to go about things differently and so does my team, but I have to admit it’s entertaining to watch and I would rather him say it than me say it, so have at it man.”
Chevrolet drivers are optimistic that they can get an aerodynamic advantage with the new Chevrolet Camaro in 2018. The manufacturer introduced the current SS design to NASCAR in 2013 while Ford and Toyota have much newer car designs.
“When you look at the amount of revisions or iterations that have come out, next year will be the first for the Camaro, first for the Chevy brand, so that is going to be a big help for us,” Johnson said. “We are doing all that we can and it does seem you know teams and manufacturers kind of gravitate towards the front, we have been very fortunate over the years to be that team and that manufacturer and can’t wait to get back their ourselves. But, we don’t think we are where we need to be and we know next year’s Camaro is going to be a huge help with that.”
Elliott, Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, was penalized 15 points for illegal aerodynamic modifications during the Chicago race. When he was asked about Elliott’s penalty Friday, Johnson said he typically didn’t know of potential penalties involving his team until they were being investigated.
Both Johnson and Elliott had rough starts to Friday’s first practice session at New Hampshire. The teammates both hit the wall entering turn three hard enough to necessitate backup cars.