Charlotte: Jimmie Johnson press conference

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo (led 223 of 400 laps and finished 7th): "We learned a lot as a team and I learned a lot as a driver for next time. It hurts. But that's how it goes. "Now that I've had a chance to get out of...

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo (led 223 of 400 laps and finished 7th):

"We learned a lot as a team and I learned a lot as a driver for next time. It hurts. But that's how it goes.

"Now that I've had a chance to get out of the car and think about it, I remember that we are rookies. This is our 14th race. We finished in the top 10 and we're now fifth in points. So for the big picture, it was a great day. To run in the top 10 at the Winston Cup level this early in our career is a great accomplishment. But after you get that first win, you know what it tastes like and you want more and more. I had my fork dug into the cake and was getting ready to take a big old bit out of it and fell right off my fork on the floor."

How much did the aero disturb your car when you got back in traffic?

"It's pretty much the same at all the tracks. You have the lapped cars lined up inside of you and even with the 40 laps there at the end, I had to get by 18 cars to get to the front. And that's extremely hard to do. The car doesn't lose a lot of balance to where you're real tight or loose. You're doing everything you can to drive the wheels off the car but the lap times are slow. When you're up front in clean air, you can let off 10 car lengths early and just cruise back into the throttle and drive up off the corner and you pull them by two-tenths. It's not something real big that you can feel in the car, but looking at the times on the computer, you're here one lap and if you're back in the traffic, you're zero."

Could you have made it to the end on gas?

"I don't know. Before the race, I was told we could go 55 to 60 laps. We were looking at about 70 (laps) there, so maybe that would have been wishful thinking."

On the two-week experience at LMS - The Winston and the Coca-Cola 600

"We had the speed to run up front to race with these guys in the All-Star event and the 600. But unfortunately, we weren't able to take home that prize at either of those events. I've learned a lot and the team has learned a lot and I think we've got great set-ups for when we come back here in the fall and for next year's races. Overall, I guess maybe I have a disappointed feeling that we had the speed to win but didn't come home with it. But we've just got to remember to look at the big picture and be happy with it."

On next week's race at Dover

"I've never run there in a Winston Cup car but it's one of my favorite tracks. I've run well there in a Busch car and I'm definitely looking forward to going there. Jeff Gordon dominated that race and won it last year and we're going to be using that same set-up."

On the way the Lowe's Team has come together

"There hasn't been a big effort to have things come together. It's happened naturally. We all became friends and we communicate well together. We haven't had to work at it and I guess that's why we've had some success early on."

-team monte carlo-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson