Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media and discussed if non-Chase drivers should race Chase competitors differently, the top 35 rule, racing at Talladega with NASCAR's new generation race car, penalties...
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media and discussed if non-Chase drivers should race Chase competitors differently, the top 35 rule, racing at Talladega with NASCAR's new generation race car, penalties assessed during the Chase, safety with the new generation race car, what it will take to win at Kansas Speedway and what a victory would do with other 1.5-mile tracks coming up in the Chase.
Select quotes from driver interview:
SHOULD NON-CHASE DRIVERS RACE CHASE DRIVERS DIFFERENTLY? "I don't think so. I think there's a level of respect just on the race track. In the Chase last year and the years past I've seen that respect there where you race people how they race you. It's not the non-Chase driver's responsibility to get out of the way, they have a job to do and you just hope that they race you clean and race you with respect. I personally have always seen great racing and respect going both directions. You do have flare ups from time to time but I think that's more between those two drivers than anything else."
IS THE TOP-35 RULE MAKING IT MORE AGGRESSIVE OUT THERE? "It's tough to say. I mean everybody at this point of the season has a lot going on - if it is trying to get into the top 25, if it's trying to work your way up to 13th now the way it works out and the prestige that comes with that. Everybody at this point in the season.it's been a long year for most and everybody wants to finish up strong and I just think you're seeing aggression come out."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE AT TALLADEGA? ARE YOU HAVING A HARD TIME SEEING 30 CARS? "Yeah, seeing through the cars is one aspect of it. The wing, the rear glass angle, the way the sunlight hits the back window it's kind of reflecting some light towards us now and it's tough to see through the glass. The other part of it is the roof itself is much larger, the greenhouse is much larger and we didn't realize how that extra couple inches really made a difference in the draft following people to know where you're at. Right now you're driving blind out there and if it something happens in front of you there's no chance in missing it because all you see is the back window and the framework of the car in front of you. The race is going to be different, I really think so. The cars draft much differently and the opportunities that we look for as drivers, I don't think are going to be the same. I do think that the cars are very comfortable to drive. They do suck up but for whatever reason they don't pass all that well so I think you'll see a lot of opportunities to cre ate bump drafting and create potential wrecks that create problems. I'm just not sure we'll see a lot of passing taking place."
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO WIN AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY? "We just need to finish. We have the speed. We've been very competitive here. We've led a lot of laps. Last year we had a fuel strategy thing come into play that kept us from winning but I think if we just come in and do our normal thing we'll do fine.
-credit: gm racing