Atlanta II: Jimmie Johnson press conference

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse Chevrolet discusses his 2003 season and outlook for the upcoming Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta, Ga. Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway in ...

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse Chevrolet discusses his 2003 season and outlook for the upcoming Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta, Ga. Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA.

Johnson currently sits in fifth place in the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings, just 66 points behind second place, 23 points behind third place and 6 points behind fourth place. Johnson has ranked among the top-10 in the Winston Cup points standings for 65 consecutive races, dating back to the 2002 spring race in Atlanta.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO THE LAYMAN HOW YOU DO A BURNOUT AFTER YOU WIN A RACE?

"I've learned a few lessons. You don't hit the rev chip because you'll blow the engine and have everybody mad at you. On the cool down lap, there's a brake adjuster in the car and you adjust it so that you can hold the car and really get the tires smoking good. But really, you just rev it up, dump the clutch, put your left foot on the brake and your right foot on the gas, and get 'em boiling and try to steer it. The car doesn't want to go very straight and you're not in control when you're really doing it, but if you get them burning really good you grab second gear and get it really hot and wait to feel them blow out and keep from destroying the body."

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET REALLY GOOD AT IT?

"I don't know. I don't think it's too hard. A lot of rpm always makes it easy. That's where I ran into trouble the first time I did it at Fontana last year. I got a little excited and broke the engine doing it."

DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF OTHER GUYS' BURNOUTS AND TRY TO OUTDO THEM WHEN YOU DO IT?

"No, not really. It's really kind of a personal deal. You're just so excited and trying to let everyone know and see there's some pride if you're the one out there on the front stretch doing the burnouts."

IS THERE ANYBODY WHO IS REALLY GOOD AT IT?

"Kevin Harvick does a really good burnout. I didn't really pay attention to the one he did this year. But I know in the Busch Series in 2000 and '01, he did some really cool ones. I remember one at St. Louis where he did just about the whole front stretch and it looked like a dragster coming through there. It looked really good."

WHAT KIND OF DAMAGE CAN YOU DO TO THE CAR WHEN YOU DO A BURNOUT?

"Obviously, the engine. If you blow a rear tire and it's flopping around, it can destroy the body. And I think Harvick actually tore the whole back of the car off at Indianapolis. So it can do a lot of damage. It can destroy the brakes whenever a tire starts to fall apart. It can be pretty pricey. You've got to take care of it."

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A CREW CHIEF TELL YOU TO GO A LITTLE EASIER NEXT TIME?

"Oh yeah. After that first one (Fontana) when I broke a brand new engine and everything was supposed to be fine with it and I had rods hanging out the side of it when it was all said and done, I was told not to do it to that extent again."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson