Montoya Says He Won’t Apologize While Johnson Doesn’t Want to Hear It
By Kelly Crandall On Fri, Jul. 29, 2011
Juan Pablo Montoya said he doesn’t believe he owes Jimmie Johnson an apology but should he see him he’ll offer one anyway.
The reason is that two weeks ago in New Hampshire the two again made contact, which Johnson again got the worst off as he spun. Montoya told Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus he was sorry but thought he left Johnson plenty of room.
Friday in Indianapolis Johnson didn’t hold back, saying he was tired of his run-ins with Montoya and he was especially tired of hearing the same two words over and over again. According to the five-time and defending Sprint Cup Series champion, enough is enough.
“Definitely upset,” said Johnson. “What it really boils down to, I don’t feel at least two of the three things that have happened are intentional, they were racing instances. But there’s a point where you’ve got to respect the people you’re racing around and also respect a driver you have had some run-ins with.”
This isn’t the first time that Montoya and Johnson have run into each other. Last August in Bristol, Montoya hooked Johnson in the right rear and sent the 48 head on into the backstretch wall. This past May, Montoya spun Johnson entering turn one after Johnson had passed him down the frontstretch at Darlington.
It was that incident where Johnson could at least offer a smile while revealing how Montoya apologized.
“I’m in my motorhome showering, he walked into my bus and into my shower to apologize,” said Johnson. “Then he told me I’m naked. I said, ‘Of course I am, I’m in the shower.’ There’s some times when you can understand, but after three times being turned around, hearing ‘I’m sorry,’ it can’t happen.”
As far as Johnson’s concerned, Montoya can hold his apologies going forward. He knows that every time the two are around each other he gets the short end of the stick, just as he did in New Hampshire. While he didn’t sustain any damage and was able to rebound for a fifth place finish, Johnson said the accident put him in a bad position.
“Juan and I have a friendship, we get along great,” Johnson said. “After three times of me getting turned around, hearing apologies, I’m tired of hearing apologies. I don’t want the contact; I don’t want to be raced that way. We can do it for different parts of the race but towards the end of an event I find myself spun around. I’ve certainly had my fair share. It certainly can’t happen again.”
They’ll most likely talk sometime soon Johnson believes, because they always do. Except just as Johnson is done hearing apologies, Montoya is done talking and said that the only reason he would apologize is for his own good.
“You don’t want to have problems with people here that you don’t need to,” said Montoya. “It’s to avoid future confrontations. It’s being smart.”
If Johnson was asked he’d probably say if Montoya were smart they wouldn’t be in their current situation. Instead, the two are at odds in their opinions of what actually happened. Johnson believes he again got hit for no reason while Montoya believes Johnson did it to himself.
“If you really look at it he had plenty of race track at the bottom,” said Montoya. “So, do I apologize? No. I think the other time that I hit him he actually run into the wall and I decided not to hit the wall and hit him. It all depends on how you see it. His point of view and my point of view are very different.”