Fontana: Johnson post-race interview

JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - finished 3rd: "Our day was a lot like Jeff's (Gordon). We stayed out there at one point in time and had to pit the next caution and lost a lot of track position. We had a few mistakes on pit road...

JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - finished 3rd:

"Our day was a lot like Jeff's (Gordon). We stayed out there at one point in time and had to pit the next caution and lost a lot of track position. We had a few mistakes on pit road that put us back in the pack and had to recover from that.

But the great thing was that I had an awesome race car. Regardless of whether I started 40th or 15th or wherever it was on a restart, I could drive right up inside the top-five, to top-three. I am really; really proud of my guys and the car they gave me. We had a nice comfortable lead and after a couple of green flag pit stops and the wonderful debris caution came out. If anyone has seen the debris, I would like to know where it was. (CHUCKLES). I didn't see it either, there were five trucks looking for it. That started our problem; we had a little mistake on pit road and lost some track position. But once again, I had a great car and was able to get by the 31 with Jeff on the restart and then Harvick had his trouble and we ended up third."

ON ONE MANUACTURER DOMINATING THIS SEASON:

"I personally feel you have to look at the teams. Hendrick, Childress and Roush on the Ford side. The manufacturers want to do more but the rules NASCAR has them all working in they are all very similar, it is more teams than it is manufacturer."

ON IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A GOOD RACE HERE AFTER DISAPPOINTMENT AT DAYTONA:

"I have been fortunate enough to be in a good position going in to the final races leading in to the Chase. To get off to a good start now, sure makes those final races easier.

"It is really important not to have two bad weeks in a row. From my experience in racing and everybody in the garage area, you know you have bad days, but you hope you have more good days than bad days. We had a bad weekend last weekend and bounced back, it is great driving for this Hendrick Motorsports organization because we may have troubles, we may get be behind, but it won't be long. We have a lot of fight as Jeff pointed out in our organization and our individual teams. We're very lucky to be a part of that. You can't keep us down for long. I think we have been able to show that. We are exciting for the upcoming races. This weekend really showed us what our downforce package is going to be like for the first quarter of the season and I think we are feeling very good about things at Hendrick."

ON DEBRIS CAUTIONS:

"It did seem like there would be one coming to be honest. I hate it and wish it didn't take place, but I think we all saw it coming."

ON ONE TEAM SEEMING TO HAVE A SLIGHT EDGE ON EVERYONE N THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE SEASON:

"To me, it seems like the same players from the closing races of last season are still strong with the current car. With the Car of Tomorrow, I think we are all learning at the same time who has got what. We feel pretty strong about the development on our COT but we will find out. It is great to get off to a good start, especially here with Vegas coming up and Atlanta not too far away. Nice to know our downforce stuff is where it needs to be."

ON CATCHING KENSETH AND/OR HARVICK NEAR THE END:

"Harvick seemed like he had a solid top-five car but I don't recall him leading a lot, I saw Matt leading a lot. Maybe I didn't see the points in the race where the 29 lead, but he definitely had a strong car and was in the top-five all day long."

ON MISHAP DURING PIT STOP:

"I don't know exactly what went on in our pit stop. Jeff and I were just laughing about it. We were just slow on that stop and lost four spots. It is hard from my perspective to tell what went wrong but we definitely lost time."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Teams Hendrick Motorsports