- Associated Press - Friday, June 7, 2013

LONG POND, PA. (AP) - Maybe NBA Commissioner David Stern needs to levy a fine against Juan Pablo Montoya.

Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson said Montoya’s slow drive to the restart at Dover was the NASCAR equivalent of “flopping.”

Johnson’s drive for a record eighth win on the mile concrete track ended when NASCAR penalized him for jumping Montoya, the race leader, off the restart with 19 laps left. Montoya had the responsibility to speed up and be in the lead once the cars left the restart zone. Johnson said Montoya wasn’t driving fast enough. Johnson was penalized and finished 17th while Montoya was second.

Johnson said he planned to talk to NASCAR officials again this weekend at Pocono Raceway about the penalty.

“I feel that in NASCAR and auto racing there are very few moments where maybe a penalty could be drawn or a foul could be drawn like we would see in the NBA finals or something right now where flopping goes on,” Johnson said. “I really believe that in the restart zone to the start-finish line that Juan just didn’t go. In my opinion, I think he played it right. I think he was smart in letting me get out ahead of him and let them make the call on me to keep me from having the lead and winning the race.”

Montoya said Johnson simply just mistimed his move and is the only one responsible for the penalty.

“Let’s say I had a bad start and he beat me by a bumper or half a car length, NASCAR wouldn’t have said anything,” Montoya said. “If you pay attention, we were coming to the cones, he didn’t even want to line up next to me. He was actually dropping back. He wanted to time it. He just mistimed it.

“It’s all good. It’s racing.”

Johnson admitted he would love to try lagging back just a bit like he said Montoya did and bait drivers into passing him.

“I guess I didn’t think it through far enough and if somebody would take the bait as I did,” Johnson said.

NASCAR said last week penalizing Johnson was an easy call because the five-time champion refused to give up the lead.

“I was hoping that they were going to say he had an issue and notice that he wasn’t up to speed the whole front straightaway and the call would come my way,” Johnson said. “It didn’t. My mistake was expecting the call to come my way and I can’t count on that.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide