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No hard feelings between Johnson, Earnhardt

Jay Hart
Yahoo Sports

Jimmie Johnson says he hasn't talked to Dale Earnhardt Jr., crew chief Chad Kanus or anyone about his team's decision to pit in the closing laps of last weekend's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

Paired up with Junior for the entire race, Johnson came down pit road after a caution flag flew setting up a second Green-White-Checker finish. Earnhardt did not pit and didn't realize Johnson had.

The diverging strategies, in a race where partnering up was a must, set off Junior Nation, many of whom took to Twitter to lambast Johnson for, in their estimation, hanging their driver out to dry.

"I heard about how they beat on Jimmie a little bit on his Twitter page and I called him up and said now you know why I don’t have Twitter," Earnhardt said Friday. "I’d be getting it every week.”

Though Johnson says he hasn't talked to Knaus about the reason why they pitted, he said Friday that fuel strategy could have been an issue. Had there been a third Green-White-Checker finish, pitting for fuel could have been a race-winning call.

"I assume there was conversation between Chad and Stevie [Letarte, Earnhardt's crew chief] before that pit stop and we elected to pit," Johnson explained. "[Knaus] felt like some guys were getting ready to run out of fuel and we were hopeful to get a third [Green-White-Checker] and then we would have been in a great situation."

Junior said he has no hard feelings about what happened.

"If they want to come pit they’ve got to come pit," he said. "I can’t argue with that and I think I’m fine with that. I don’t have a problem with what he did."

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