Jimmie Johnson had just wrecked his No. 48 Chevrolet in Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway and instead of heading right to the garage for repairs, his crew chief Chad Knaus elected to have him make multiple pit stops to try to fix the damage.
"There's nothing wrong with that thing. Nothing," Knaus told Johnson over their team radio after his fourth trip to the pits. "You just might have a little trouble looking out the back window."
What did Johnson think listening to Knaus direct the repairs and then seeing what the car looked like after he rallied for a ninth-place finish?
"I knew he would make it sound better than it really was. That's just part of what you mentioned, (of him) quarterbacking the situation. I could tell from the impact it wasn't all that hard," Johnson said. "I knew I didn't bend the rear suspension. I knew the front end didn't hit. From a mechanical standpoint, I knew the chassis was sound and it really was an aero situation.
Chad seemed calm as we had two or three stops to work on the car. Once they didn't lead me back to pit road, I assumed things were decent. I took my time getting up to speed and the car felt fine. In traffic it did act different. I had to be aware of where I put myself around other cars because the car would lose some grip then."
So, did Knaus lie about the extent of the damage in order to make Johnson believe the situation was so dire?
"He wasn't lying. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't efficient. Slow on corner exiting down the straightaway because of the fenders being pushed out like they were," Johnson said of his car. "Through the corner, the car had a spoiler on it in a decent location and it was creating downforce. It drove well. That's what allowed me to work traffic like I did to allow me to get up inside the top 10."