JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 3rd ON HIS RUN: "We picked up a lot of speed from practice and once again the track was really slick. And then going into the night session, our car really wakes up and comes to life.
JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 3rd
ON HIS RUN:
"We picked up a lot of speed from practice and once again the track was really slick. And then going into the night session, our car really wakes up and comes to life. Tonight, I was excited to see the pick up in speed. In practice, we were pretty loose and I think 32nd on the charts. Chad (Knaus) made some adjustments to the car that really helped it. And then the sun going down and the track cooling down really helped us out and I look forward to the race."
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THIS RACE?
"Oddly enough, we were on pins and needles out there. Thirty-five laps seemed like 80 laps. It's nice to have a little breather after 35 laps and catch your breath and regroup and go again. That in general, has made the run seem a little bit longer since we're so on edge out there. It'll be interesting to see if people try two tires or no tires and just gas or whatever the situation may be. Harvick in the All-Star event made a great move in trying two tires late. I don't think it ended up working out like he thought it would but at the time, when I was taking four, I thought man, that was a great move. I think I learned a little bit from that -- watching those guys -- it didn't work out like they thought it would."
ON BRINGING THE ALL-STAR BACK -- WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS CAR?
"Chad felt that the car at the shop that we didn't race at the All-Star event had a little bit better body on it and that the aero balance would be a little bit more what I would want and it had more grip built into it. We scienced out the suspension and all the other things that went on, I just felt like we'd been working with this car for a while and understood exactly where it was. We didn't have a drag in the track; we had everything fine-tuned and adjusted right and that we should bring that car back.
"I think I left here and Chad came in after. When I saw him when I was leaving and he said he'd heard at the Media Center that I wanted to bring this car back. And I said, 'Absolutely, let's bring it back.' He asked me if we could sit on it overnight. And the next morning and we talked and he'd already had the guys in the shop working on this car and getting it turned around. So I'm excited to have it. I know what I'm looking for. We know exactly where we need to end up. So at least we've got something to work from. I felt like the car was very competitive. Granted, some cars were taken out in the All-Star event, but we feel like we've got a real good idea of where we need to be in the later stages of the race with this race car."
LAST WEEK YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO BUY AN OLD CAR WITH YOUR WINNINGS. WHAT DID YOU BUY?
"I haven't done anything yet. Right now I have my '69 Camaro that I built and put the Randy Dorton engine in. I need to get that thing up and running. I had it back from the west coast from where it was built. I just need to put some time to get it running. I also have a '51 Merc and I'm trying to get a new interior put in. I've got two cars already but they're both out of commission. I need to get them working since this is the right time of year to drive an old car."
DOES WINNING HERE EVER GET OLD? IF YOU WERE ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN WOULD YOU WONDER WHO ELSE WOULD EVER WIN A RACE HERE?
"I'm sure if I was sitting in the stands I would or if I were any of the competitors. Again I don't know why or how we do it. There's been different surfaces and tires and all those other things. Somehow we keep doing it and I'm just as shocked as everyone else. I'd love to keep this streak alive and do something that no one else has done before. I think that would be nice to accomplish and have that in my stash. Streaks come to an end. There's no telling how long it will last. I didn't feel going into the All Star event that we were the favorite for it. We left with the trophy so I'm not sure what to expect come Sunday night."