Approaching deadline: Should Johnson, Knaus worry about being winless?
FOX Sports' Larry McReynolds takes a look at the No. 48 team's struggles over the past few weeks and wonders if there is trouble in paradise at Hendrick Motorsports.
The No. 48 team has finished outside of the top 20 in four of the last six races, but Larry Mac does not believe it is time to panic just yet.
Jonathan Ferrey / NASCAR
By Larry McReynolds
Talladega marked the fourth time in the last six races that Jimmie Johnson has finished outside the top 20 in the finishing order. If this continues to happen, then there's going to come a time when we're all going to have to take notice of what is happening over there at the No 48 team. That's for another day however, because we are still talking about Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, so I haven't reached that point of worry just yet.
We all know Talladega is never a measuring stick of where your program is. Talladega, like Daytona, is a wild card. Anything can happen and usually does. Like we always say, you are only a split second away from having your day ruined by no fault of your own.
I am starting to hear a little more tension on the race team radio between Jimmie and Chad. Is that because they are getting frustrated and antsy? It could be, or it could be something as simple as they are mad at each other about something. You know, like an old married couple that might have a spat periodically after being together a long, long time.
With all that said, I still don't think it is time to panic. They are still running well. They just haven't gotten the finishes to prove it. Those guys are still a solid group. These next three or four tracks we are headed to, especially Dover, will tell the real tale. If we don't see the performance improve dramatically at these next four tracks like we think they should, then I think we can start ringing the bell that this group isn't where they or anyone thinks they should be at with their program.