According to a report on RacinBoys.com, the Jimmie Johnson-Ryan Blaney feud is over.
Blaney told the outlet he brought beers to Johnson’s motorhome Friday night, the two drivers talked, and they agreed to put their different opinions of what happened between them last week at Watkins Glen International behind them.
“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.”
Johnson confirmed Blaney’s account in a Sunday appearance on FS1’s RaceDay Live, saying Blaney appeared with a pair of tall cans of craft brew from New Hampshire.
“Of course you get to the track and questions are asked and it starts swirling and questions get more specific, and it makes things swirl more and more,” Johnson told FS1. “But at the end of the day, Ryan came and knocked on the bus Friday night and showed up with two beers in hand and we sat down and talked about it. I wish it could have happened earlier and sooner. It would’ve saved us both probably some grief, but this stuff happens in racing. We’re not the first ones to disagree on what happened on track and we won’t be the last.”
Johnson was angered last weekend when he spun after what he viewed as Blaney running through him late in the race at Watkins Glen. Blaney said he was simply racing Johnson hard.
The verbal sparring continued Friday when Johnson said he was disappointed he didn’t receive a mid-week phone call from Blaney to apologize.
“There was a window of opportunity there from my standpoint for Ryan to handle it a certain way, to engage in at least the way that I know I have when it wasn’t on purpose and I have yet to see or hear from him,” Johnson told NASCAR.com. “So, that only validates my line of thought and how angry I was in the car.”
From Blaney’s standpoint, no apology was necessary.
“I have nothing to apologize about,” Blaney told NASCAR.com Friday. “He came down on me. I apologized to him right then and there, even though it was his fault. I have a lot of respect for Jimmie — or had a lot of respect – that’s why I kind of let him chew my ass out for a minute, minute-and-a-half or whatever he did and I didn’t go back into him, especially when he put a finger in my face.
“Then his comments after we got done talking pretty much threw all that out the window. That respect is very little.”
According to Blaney, though, the two drivers have agreed to put their differences aside and race each other cleanly.
“In my eyes, it ended really well,” Blaney told RacinBoys.com. “Jimmie is a good friend of mine. It’s just the whole week has been blown up — blown out of proportion a lot — for sure. I got his side and said I didn’t appreciate what he said about me afterward and explained it. And I was fine with it.
“No, the racing side-by-side with him doesn’t worry me. We’re still going to race each other hard like we always have, but it was good to talk to him at the race track face-to-face.”