Gordon, Johnson will get over their Texas tussle

Chris Symeon, Motorsports Editor

The Inside Line Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were clearly disappointed with each other after their toe-to-toe battle during Monday's rain-delayed Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, but don't expect the issue to create a hornets' nest between the Hendrick Motorsports teammates any time soon.

With less than 100 laps to go, Gordon and Johnson tangled as they attempted to chase down pole sitter Tony Stewart for the lead. The two banged into each other heading into turn four, with Johnson sustaining a dent on the left-front side of his car.

"Four-time is a little upset," Gordon said over his car radio to crew chief Steve Letarte after his incident with the four-time defending Sprint Cup Series champion.

Johnson later fell one lap behind after suffering a flat tire from the damage to his car.

"Don't get the headline writers out saying trouble at HMS, because it's really no big deal," Johnson said. "We all know from scanning during the race, there are a lot of colorful things said on that racetrack about teammates and other drivers and all that kind of stuff. So to have the word 'disappointed' used from Jeff and myself, I don't think it is a very big deal."

Jeff Gordon led a race-high 124 laps.
While Johnson overcame his lap deficit and finished a close second to race winner Denny Hamlin, Gordon, who led a race-high 124 laps, was less fortunate with his outcome. Gordon and Stewart bumped into each other and crashed into the wall, triggering a nine-car pileup with 17 laps to go.

Gordon has been a man on a mission lately, trying to find his way back to victory lane for the first time since winning at Texas one year ago. But Gordon has encountered several stumbling blocks along the way.

Last month at Martinsville, Gordon and Matt Kenseth renewed their ongoing rivalry when Gordon shoved Kenseth up the track and into the wall with less than two laps remaining. Hamlin slipped past the two during their incident and took the lead for good.

Gordon also blew a winning opportunity earlier this month at Phoenix. Ryan Newman passed Gordon with two laps to go, and then held it for his first win in 78 races.

Indeed, Gordon and Johnson were not happy with each other before they left Texas, but I'm sure their differences will be settled in time for Talladega this weekend.

"I'll get over it and so will he; We'll talk about it," said Gordon, who wound up finishing 31st at Texas. "We are good enough friends and good enough teammates. It is more just the competitors in us coming out there and the aggressiveness of wanting to win. It's not anything against one another."

Texas wasn't the first time Gordon and Johnson have clashed. The two didn't exactly see eye-to-eye after they staged a memorable battle for the win in the final laps of the 2007 spring race at Martinsville.

"Jeff and I have been racing hard against each other for wins for a long time," Johnson said. "We've had this issue in the past, so I really don't see it being a big deal."

There might not be a problem with Gordon and Johnson right now, but that could change at some point, especially if the two are fighting for the championship later in the year.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Chris Symeon at csymeon@sportsnetwork.com.
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