Darlington II: Jimmie Johnson - GM interview

JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: ABOUT BRUSHING THE WALL IN PRACTICE THIS MORNING "I think everyone was being aggressive and the track had a lot of grip in it and after just a few laps you have taken all the good off the...

JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:

ABOUT BRUSHING THE WALL IN PRACTICE THIS MORNING

"I think everyone was being aggressive and the track had a lot of grip in it and after just a few laps you have taken all the good off the tires. I was being aggressive and just ran out of space and went up and brushed the wall. For us, fortunately, we didn't hit anything very hard. I see a few of the guys are having to go to backup cars. It is just Darlington and it is showing its character again."

ARE YOU AND THE OTHER DRIVERS STILL ADJUSTING TO LOSING THE 30 INCHES TO THE SOFT WALLS?

"I think so and I think so more in turns three and four than anyplace else, and the center of the corner and again in the exit off. That is what got me, in the center of (Turn) three. There are so marks on the track that in the past I would have had my left side tires above them. I drove in and had my left side tires above them and just ran out of room and brushed the wall. It is a little different but I got that out of the way today and tomorrow is a different day and I won't do it again."

WHAT WILL THE COOLER WEATHER DO TO CHANGE HOW THE RACE IS RUN TOMORROW?

"I think guys will be more aggressive on the short runs then they will use up their tires more than you need to and fall off on the back side. But I don't think it really matters what kind of weather you have at Darlington, the track is so abrasive that it is going to chew the tires up and slow everybody down."

DO YOU CHANGE YOUR RACE STRATEGY BECAUSE YOU SCRAPED THE WALL IN PRACTICE, AND QUALIFYING GOT RAINED OUT?

"We have had a good car since we got here. We have been near the top of the charts during all of the practice sessions, I was excited about qualifying because I think we had a really good shot at a red hat. We have had a good effort, we just need to keep it straight tomorrow and not touch anything so we are there at the end."

IS DARLINGTON A WILD CARD TRACK?

"It is Darlington, if it stays green and has long runs, it is going to be an endurance race.. But if it turns out like it did in the spring, and we have a lot of late cautions, it is a sprint race and you have to put tires on and drive your butt off. I don't think anyone can predict how the race is going to turn out. You just have to be prepared for it to be either a sprint or an endurance race."

YOU SEEM SO CALM ABOUT THIS RACE AND THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP

"Our team has been given a second chance at getting back in this chase for the championship and I am not going to stress out about it. I am just going to go out and have fun and it will happen if it is meant to be."

DO YOU THINK THAT RICK (HENDRICK) MIGHT COME TO THE TRACK NEXT WEEK TO CHEER YOU AND JEFF ON?

"I am not sure what Rick's plans might be; I haven't talked to him about it specifically. I know that in time when he feels it is right, he will be here at the track with us. I know he has been to the race shop and that was a very difficult day for him We definitely miss him and we would love to see his face back here with us but he still has a lot of healing to do."

ARE THINGS BACK TO NORMAL AT THE SHOP NOW?

"I don't think things will ever be back to "normal". I think we all will find our way to adjust and move forward and find ways to work through things but I don't think it will ever be the same."

-gm racing-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson