Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has welcomed the total acquittal of his lawyer Allan Miller as part of the verdict in Helio Castroneves' trial on tax evasion charges.
Johnson said he was happy to learn about the final verdict, which acquitted Miller from four different charges, as well as exonerating Castroneves and his sister Katiucia on six of the seven counts against them, with a mistrial declared in the seventh. Miller has represented the reigning Sprint Cup champion for more than 12 years.
"I am just happy for everyone involved," Johnson said. "I know it has been extremely tough on all of them, I know more about Alan and what Alan and his family have been experiencing.
"This is just so happy for them and hopefully they will take a nice long vacation and let that stress find its way out of his body because it has been very, very difficult on all of them. A man with his status at his age to experience something like this, this late in his career, it has been really really tough on them and I am very, very happy for him."
Johnson also felt sympathy for his colleague Castroneves and says he can only imagine what the Brazilian is going through as the pressure of the trial ends and he returns to the IndyCar Series to resume his career immediately.
"I can only imagine what is going on in all of their minds about the potential jail time and what that would mean for careers and lifestyles. Wives and family and all of that," said Johnson.
"I would imagine (that over) the next three or four days for Helio there are going to be so many layers lifted off him. One, he is on a plane going out there a free man and two, he is going to walk into a garage area he hasn't been in and get back in his car.
"I am sure he is going to want to peel the sticker with the other guy's name off the side of his car. This is mine, I am getting back in it. So, I can only imagine what he is going through and I am happy for all of them."
Johnson appeared during Castroneves' trial in Miami and testified in the court as a defence witness.