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Johnson takes blame for Bristol pit-road woes

August 27, 2014, Kenny Bruce,

Six-time champion on speeding penalties at Thunder Valley: 'I blew it twice'

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson said pit-road speeding problems last week at Bristol Motor Speedway "were definitely on us."
“We still haven't had a chance to break it down but we assume something went wrong with the marks that we had on pit road for me to accelerate to; we either had it wrong or underestimated how fast the car would be up to speed," Johnson said Tuesday while taking part in a Hendrick Motorsports test session at Martinsville Speedway.


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Johnson managed to overcome the two speeding penalties in the Irwin Tools Night Race to score a fourth-place finish. It was his first top-five since winning at Michigan International Speedway in June.
A winner of 69 Sprint Cup races, Johnson had been running fourth when he was penalized for speeding coming onto pit road on Lap 63 at Bristol. He was still outside the top 10 when he was penalized a second time for a pit road speeding violation on Lap 132.
By staying out under a caution at Lap 196, he managed to restart inside the top five and stayed inside the top 10 for the remainder of the race.
"I blew it twice," he said of the penalties. "After the second time I (was) just doing the basic speed limit all the way around."
The pit road speed limit at Bristol was 30 mph.
While he has eight wins at Martinsville, Johnson said the Hendrick organization hadn't tested at the 0.526-mile track "in a long, long time."
"As a group, we kind of sat in a room and raised our hands to what tracks in the Chase we wanted to test at, and the majority wanted to come to Martinsville," he said.
"We're not reinventing the wheel while we're here, but we're certainly learning a lot."
All four Hendrick teams, which include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne in addition to Johnson, are scheduled to return to Martinsville for additional testing on Wednesday.
Johnson said his No. 48 team also has tests scheduled for Phoenix and Homestead later this season.


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