Johnson gets some clarity regarding pit road, pace car

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) Six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has some clarity regarding his pit road penalty last week in Phoenix.

He wants even more.

''There's been quite a few voicemails back and forth,'' Johnson said Thursday as NASCAR previewed its upcoming championship weekend. ''There's been enough texting and voicemails back and forth communicating, so I have a better understanding.''

Johnson plans to delve deeper into the rule when drivers get to Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday.

''I still look forward to (Friday) and understand what would lead to that again in the future and how aggressive they're going to be in calling that week after week, stop after stop,'' Johnson said.

NASCAR picked last week at Phoenix to enforce a rule against passing the pace car when a driver dips onto pit road for a stop. Johnson and Martin Truex Jr. were penalized for the infraction, and the punishment was holding the car for a lap on pit road.

''I just want consistency is all I'm after,'' Johnson said.

Fellow championship contender Kyle Busch said there have been times before races that officials told drivers that passing the pace car would be allowable, at tracks like Richmond and Martinsville. The defending NASCAR champion added that he saw a video this week showing how close he was to passing the pace car at Homestead last year, which could have been a costly penalty.

''Somebody was trying to point out that it looked really, really close of me coming down Homestead for the final stop last year where I was right even with the pace car,'' Busch said. ''It was hard to tell whether I was in front or behind him, but it was close enough where I guess maybe I was given the benefit of the doubt in that situation. But I never throttled up like Jimmie did even to keep those guys behind me. If you look at the film, I got everybody bottled up and they're all nose to tail beating the bumpers off of each other coming to pit road. It wasn't like I gassed it up.

''I guess it's just all in how it's perceived and how it looks, so don't make it look bad.''


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