CHASE FOR THE NEXTEL CUP: RACE 3 Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Kansas Speedway this weekend for the third of the ten 2007 "Chase for the Nextel Cup" races. Johnson is fourth among the 12 "Chase" drivers but trails ...
CHASE FOR THE NEXTEL CUP: RACE 3
Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Kansas Speedway this weekend for the third of the ten 2007 "Chase for the Nextel Cup" races. Johnson is fourth among the 12 "Chase" drivers but trails leader Carl Edwards by only four points. Although he has led 126 laps, Kansas Speedway is the only race track where the 2006 champion has failed to post a top-five finish in his career.
DRIVER JIMMIE JOHNSON QUOTES:
KANSAS SPEEDWAY: "Obviously, with the crazy weekend we had (at Dover) and being four points out of the lead after what we went through, is exciting for us. I think Kansas is one of our better tracks. We ran really, really well there last year. Unfortunately, we had a tire problem, which seems to have happened to us here lately. We had a tire problem that kept us from having the finish that we wanted. But we led a lot. I think we led the most laps, so we're excited. I'm excited and looking forward to getting to Kansas."
WILL THE "CHASE" STAY TIGHT UNTIL HOMESTEAD? "I think it's going to stay close for a long time. Once we get down to two races to go, there might be more of a clear favorite. But if you look at where Denny (Hamlin) is in 12th, granted 11 guys could have a bad day, but he's not that far out. I was a lot further out and came back over five or six races or whatever it was last year. So, I'm not counting anyone out. I do think that it's tougher this year. You have two more cars in the mix. It's a much more competitive Chase. I think it's going to keep us talking each and every week as to how things unfold and where people are. And I think it's going to be deep into the Chase before we have a clear favorite."
CAN YOU GET AWAY FROM RACING DURING THE WEEK? "Yeah, Monday usually ends up being my off day to do anything from hanging around the house doing nothing to playing golf and visiting with friends. So Monday is kind of my fun day or my off day. I can take that for myself in most cases."
* Johnson will drive chassis 359 at Kansas Speedway while chassis 339 will serve as the backup. See chassis information below.
* In five starts, Johnson has completed 1,306 of 1,335 laps.
* He owns an average starting spot of 6.4 and average finish of 13.8.
* He won the pole in 2003.
* Three top-10 finishes
* Average finish of 13.8
* Finished 14th in last Kansas race.
* Led three of five races for 126 laps.
* Posted series-high 731 fastest laps run according to NASCAR's loop data.
2007 CHASE FOR THE NEXTEL CUP
* Johnson and Matt Kenseth are the only two drivers to participate in all four "Chase" battles.
* Johnson is aiming to post his sixth consecutive season finishing in the top ten in points.
* Johnson owns seven "Chase" victories, the most of any driver.
* Johnson has led 914 laps but suffered five finishes outside the top 30 in his 32 career "Chase" races.