Friday comments from both drivers further escalated the altercation; A few beers solved the problem
Road courses are the new short tracks. Watkins Glen International brought fireworks to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field. Several of those altercations have carried over to this weekend at Michigan International Speedway
Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Blaney tangled into the carousel at Watkins Glen International. They both continued but Johnson would continue with significant front end damage after contact with the tire barrier.
After the race, Johnson approached Ryan Blaney on the pit lane. The two drivers talked it out for several minutes. Johnson did most of the talking with aggrivated hand gestures to go with it.
After the pit road confrontation, Johnson spoke to the media.
“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.”
Ryan Blaney took issue with those final comments from Watkins Glen. He confirmed that feeling on Friday at MIS.
“For him to say what he said after we got done talking, that pretty much solidified that respect has dwindled down a lot,” Ryan Blaney stated at Michigan International Speedway. “Obviously that respect doesn’t go both ways. It showed he has no respect for me.”
“I have learned more about Ryan’s point of view through reading articles than I have out of his mouth,” Jimmie Johnson expressed Friday at Michigan International Speedway. “That part bothers me. That’s pretty sad.”
“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.”
Nearly a full week had passed, the two drivers still hadn’t spoken.
Ryan Blaney and Jimmie Johnson finally sat down
On Friday night, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Blaney finally met face to face. The beers opened and cooler heads allowed them to talk out the difference.
It was the first time to the two drivers spoke since the incident on the track and then the confrontation on pit lane after the race.
“We talked for half an hour,” Blaney told RacinBoys.com.
“I thought it ended really well. It was just a discussion, two guys talking, explaining our sides. We didn’t agree on some things, but it was agree to disagree on a few things.”
“Things happen on the track with two different drivers. You’re never going to be like, ‘Yeah, you were right on that.’ You’re always going to have your mind-set on what happened in that instance. Some things, we’re not going to agree upon but it was just nice to talk it out. I kind of just wanted to say we talked and we’re fine.”