Kentucky NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner Matt Kenseth said he was baffled about Jimmie Johnson's criticism of his handling of the decisive restart.
Kenseth jumped to the head of the field during the final pit stops when his Joe Gibbs team passed up a tire change while most others took on at least two new tires, including long-time race leader Johnson.
At the subsequent restart Johnson appeared to bog down and then spun at Turn 2. He fell to 26th and charged back to ninth, while Kenseth went on to win.
Johnson questioned Kenseth's tactics over team radio, and suggested after the race that his rival had failed to maintain pace car speed as stipulated.
"The 20 [Kenseth] broke the pace car speed, which you aren't supposed to, but they aren't calling guys on that, so I need to start trying that in the future," said Johnson.
Kenseth dismissed Johnson's claim.
"I have no idea what happened or what happened to him or what I possibly could have done to upset him," he said. "When I got ready for the restart, we were on top and we were the leader, so it's anywhere in that box we can start the race and when the pace car peeled off, I felt like I went the same pace. I think you can look through data and see I didn't slow down.
"Really, at that point you try to watch the guy inside you and try to make sure he doesn't lay back and try to get a run at you, and I tried to keep him right by my door; and when I got to the box, I went. And from there, I don't really know what happened."
The winner suggested that Johnson's complaints were more motivated by defeat than any restart issue.
"I certainly didn't feel like I did anything wrong from where I was, but you know, after dominating all day and you have a problem at the end, it's always frustrating," Kenseth said. "We've been there, too."