Atlanta: Jimmie Johnson preview

Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series visit Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 500. The 2006 Nextel Cup champion enters the race fourth in the point standings and coming off his third ...

Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series visit Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 500. The 2006 Nextel Cup champion enters the race fourth in the point standings and coming off his third consecutive victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Johnson's 24th career victory last weekend moved him into sole possession of 24th place on the all-time victory list. The victory also gave Hendrick Motorsports its 150th win in Nextel Cup competition.

Johnson's No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo will sport a special black and silver Kobalt Tools paint scheme this weekend. After the Atlanta race the Nextel Cup teams travel to Bristol where Johnson will race the Chevrolet Impala SS "Car of Tomorrow."

DRIVER JIMMIE JOHNSON QUOTES:

ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY: "I'm looking forward to it. It's one of the more intimidating tracks and one of the better tracks to race on. The high speeds and the old surface make it a lot of fun for our cars. I really love the challenge. So I'm excited after our Las Vegas win and really looking forward to getting to Atlanta.

"Atlanta is such a challenging track, I don't think many guys are comfortable getting into that race track. Personally, that's one of the best tracks we run on. The old asphalt is abrasive. We race from the top to the bottom and it's rougher than pretty much any track we go to. I hope they leave that place alone and never touch it and never think about resurfacing it. I think it puts on a great show."

SEASON: "It's always nice to get the first one under your belt. To start the season, performance-wise, Daytona was not what we wanted, but at California and Vegas we were real proud of how the car performed and they are a group of guys who are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to win. We're not exactly where we wanted to be at the start of the season, but we really can't complain too much. We've got room to improve, but we're off to a decent start."

AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: "I think our pit stops need to be a little bit more consistent. We had some troubles at Fontana and then again this weekend. But those guys are so dedicated to doing a great job and extreme critics of themselves that I feel confident that they'll improve in no time. After our last downforce races, we know that we're doing the right things there, but what does the Car of Tomorrow hold for us? That's a big focus for us in making sure that we're right there. There are a lot of Car of Tomorrow races in the Chase so we're really focused on that."

NOTES
Atlanta Motor Speedway

* In 11 starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Johnson has completed 3,477 of 3,498 laps. He owns one victory and an average starting spot of 9.2 and average finish of 10.9. He has finished out of the top six just once in the last seven races. He has led 203 laps at Atlanta.

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports