Charlotte II: Jimmie Johnson preview

* Johnson has made 16 Sprint Cup Series starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway, earning five wins, eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. * Johnson has completed 96.6% (5389 of 5580) of competition laps at the track and has led 1242. * He has an ...

* Johnson has made 16 Sprint Cup Series starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway, earning five wins, eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.

* Johnson has completed 96.6% (5389 of 5580) of competition laps at the track and has led 1242.

* He has an average start and finish of 8.1 and 9.1.

Chassis

* Johnson will pilot chassis number 558 in Sunday's race. He has only driven that car once, finishing 36th in Atlanta due to a mechanical issue.

* Johnson drove backup chassis number 465 to a ninth-place result at Kansas Speedway in October.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

WHAT HAS BEEN DIFFERENT FOR YOU AT CHARLOTTE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS AND WOULD IT BE PARTICULARLY PLEASING FOR YOU AND YOUR SPONSOR TO MAKE ONE LAST VISIT TO VICTORY LANE? "Without a doubt, it really would be nice to win there. It has been a great relationship with the track and Lowe's and then all the victories we have had there have been really neat. The track, I really think since it was resurfaced, it just changed the dynamic of the race for us. I had some lines that worked really well. I think our setup worked really well for the abrasive track. Rough tracks with bumps and things like that seem to work well for me with my background. It just worked. It was one of those tracks that just worked. They ground the track and it still worked well for us. We came back and it was resurfaced and we were competitive but we didn't have an advantage by any means. I really think the surface has a lot to do with it. It has made the track more forgiving than it was in the past and I think it helped close the gap. I am hoping the track hurries up and ages and gets rough and bumpy and turns back in to the track it used to be.

"We work on stuff each time we go back. This year I think we'll be better yet. The last few times we have been there, we have just been super tight and needed more front grip with the car. I think we are a little smarter even from the All-Star and the Coca Cola 600 weekend, we're smarter now than we were then and hopefully it makes a difference."

WHAT'S HARDER FOR YOU? IS IT HARDER TO TRY TO GET THE POINTS LEAD OR HARDER NOW TO KEEP THE POINTS LEAD? "It's really hard just to get points. I'm not focused on catching someone. I wasn't before. I don't want you to think that I didn't know where the No.5 car was and I wasn't paying attention to things like that. I am. But it doesn't change the effort that I put in or the effort the team puts in. It's the same moving forward. We just need to score as many points as we can every week and take it from there. At Homestead, there is a clear strategy of what you need to do at that point. But until then, it's all about getting every point you can."

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson