Charlotte II: Jimmie Johnson preview

Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Lowe's Motor Speedway for Saturday night's fifth of the ten-race 2007 "Chase for the Nextel Cup." After finishing second at Talladega on Sunday, Johnson is second among the 12 "Chase"...

Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Lowe's Motor Speedway for Saturday night's fifth of the ten-race 2007 "Chase for the Nextel Cup." After finishing second at Talladega on Sunday, Johnson is second among the 12 "Chase" drivers trailing Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon by nine points. Johnson is aiming for his third pole and sixth victory in points-paying races at the 1.5-mile oval near Charlotte. Johnson will also make his third Busch Series appearance of 2007 on Friday night driving the No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet.

DRIVER JIMMIE JOHNSON:

ARE YOU MORE CALMS AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY BECAUSE OF YOUR STRONG PERFORMANCES THERE? "In general we're excited to go back. It's a track that regardless of the surface and kind of the design of the track we run well so I have a lot of excitement looking forward at that race. When we get there to the track and we're off a little bit, sometimes it creeps into our heads 'well it's not working out, something's changed' and we put a little bit more pressure on ourselves than if we're having a tough practice. But leading into it we're typically excited about it and I am this year. I think it's a good opportunity for us to possibility get a win and score some more points in the Chase."

ON CHASE ENDING IN BATTLE BETWEEN YOU AND JEFF GORDON: "We put a lot of pressure, in a good way, on both of our teams in the friendly rivalry we have between the (Gordon) and (Johnson) shops. I don't see that changing. When I see (Gordon) go by me I know that he is driving the same stuff. If he is driving by me then I think I had better get up on the wheel and do something better. I think I do the same thing to him. There's still a lot of races left. But, as things unfold here it could be a situation where we are racing one another. In some ways that is what we would hope for and in other ways it's going to be difficult. I am so proud of Hendrick Motorsports for putting three cars in the "Chase." If it does come down to the two of us it would be a good and bad problem all at the same time."

BUSCH SERIES: "It's always fun to drive the Busch car. We raced here in May and had just about everything that could go wrong happen, but we had one of the fastest cars on the track at the end of the race. I'd love to win one of these races. It's going to be a busy weekend, but any race car driver wants to race as much as possible so I am looking forward to it."

CHASSIS

* Johnson will drive chassis 363 at LMS. This car won at California Speedway in September, Las Vegas in March, and the All-Star race at LMS in 2006. Chassis 359 will serve as the backup. It won at Indianapolis in 2006 and at Atlanta in March.

-credit: hm

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