Casey Mears was slowing down for a pit stop when teammate and pal Jimmie Johnson bumped into him from behind and sent him slamming into the wall Sunday in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
That relegated Mears, who was running with the leaders when he crashed, to 39th place. But he didn’t get riled up at Johnson, who finished second behind another Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon.
“I thought we had pretty good communication and we were all going to come in that lap,” Mears said. “I was waving off down the backstretch and thought it was pretty clear that I was coming in. I know that Jimmie wouldn’t do something like that. We are too good of friends for that.”
Johnson said he was simply unaware Mears was preparing to pit. He chalked it up to miscommunication.
Hendrick and Mears both said race winner Jeff Gordon’s spotter got the message.