Ryan Blaney upset by Jimmie Johnson’s comments in TV interview


BROOKLYN, Mich. — Ryan Blaney said he could handle Jimmie Johnson approaching him after last weekend’s race to discuss their incident at Watkins Glen and could handle having Johnson “chew my ass out for two minutes” but what Johnson said in an interview on NBCSN crossed a line for Blaney.

In the interview, Johnson said: “I couldn’t hear what (Blaney) was saying, his lips were quivering so bad that he can’t even speak. I guess he was nervous or scared or both, I don’t know what the hell the problem is.”

Blaney said Friday that those comments “really pissed me off.”

MORE: Anger building in NASCAR’s season of rage 

Blaney later called Johnson’s TV comments a “cowardly move of saying I’m quivering and shaking and scared of him when we’re just sitting there talking about it and I’m letting him say what he wants to say and I’m saying things back to him.”

The two drivers have not talked since.

“For him to say what he said after we got done talking, that pretty much solidified that respect has dwindled down a lot,” Blaney said at Michigan International Speedway. “Obviously that respect doesn’t go both ways. It showed he has no respect for me.”

Johnson expressed disappointment Friday that Blaney had not reached out to him since the incident.

“I have learned more about Ryan’s point of view through reading articles than I have out of his mouth,” Johnson said Friday at Michigan International Speedway. “That part bothers me. That’s pretty sad.”

Johnson was upset with Blaney after contact that wrecked Johnson and cost him several spots. Johnson said Friday that part of his anger was because he needs all the possible points to make the playoffs. Johnson holds the final playoff spot by a tiebreaker over Ryan Newman entering Sunday’s Cup race at Michigan (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Johnson went to Blaney after the race and had a conversation.

“When I went to talk to him after the race, at some point he said he felt bad but I never heard ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to,’ nothing that would make me think that he didn’t care if it happened,” Johnson said. “That aspect only confirmed the way I felt in the car. I thought I would get a call from him during the week just the friendship that we have had, the amount of respect that I thought we had for one another, and I didn’t.”

Johnson said he would have handled the situation differently if he was in Blaney’s situation.

“If I was in his shoes and saw that, I would realize that I didn’t say enough and I respect that guy and I need to follow up with him and talk to him during the week,” Johnson said. “That’s how I would have responded.

They are likely to meet at some point this weekend. Their motorhomes are parked next to each other in the drivers lot at Michigan.

“If we run into to each other in the bus lot or around the garage or something yea, we’re going to talk,” Blaney said, “but I’m not going to go out of my way to reach out to him and call him on the phone when we’ve already talked after the race. He expects an apology from me. That’s just out of line. There’s just no need for me to do that.

“We talked after the race. There’s no need for me to keep going back to it like a hungry dog, I’m so sorry and get on my knees and beg for his forgiveness. That’s just not how it is. It’s not what happened.”

Sioux Chief to sponsor ARCA Showdown, East Series to race at Nashville Fairgrounds

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ARCA announced Saturday that Sioux Chief Manufacturing will be the entitlement sponsor of its 10-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown in 2020.

Sioux Chief Manufacturing is a Missouri company that designs and manufactures rough plumbing products, parts, and accessories for residential, commercial, industrial and government applications

Sioux Chief has been involved in ARCA since 2015 as a race event sponsor and special awards program sponsor and sponsored ARCA’s former Short Track Challenge.

As part of the deal, a newly increased point fund, combined with race purses, owner plan, and contingency awards, will offer teams a chance to compete for a share of over $920,000 in posted awards throughout the series.

The Sioux Chief Showdown will bring together the best drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West, formerly known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Those events, held on oval tracks 1.25-miles in length and under and road courses, offer drivers who may not be able or eligible to run the full 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule the opportunity to run for a championship. Combined with the overall ARCA Menards Series championship, and the East and West championships, drivers will have four separate championships to compete for in 2020.

The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Also present was promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises, who announced that the ARCA Menards Series East would compete at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 2.

The Tennessean reported this week that the Nashville Fairgrounds was negotiating with Sargent to promote at least three races at the short track in 2020. Sargent’s involvement in the track comes after Nashville’s Fair Board voted to terminate its agreement with Formosa Productions to run the track over outstanding debt.

The ARCA Menards Series has competed at the Fairgrounds the last five seasons. The ARCA Menards Series East, formerly known as the K&N Pro Series East, competed there from 2007-08.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

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GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.


Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

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Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter