Kansas: Pole winner interview

Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, pole winner ON QUALIFYING EFFORT TO GRAB POLE: "I was really unhappy with my lap. To be honest, I thought we were big trouble. One, I didn't we had run that fast, then when I heard the time,...

Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, pole winner

ON QUALIFYING EFFORT TO GRAB POLE:

"I was really unhappy with my lap. To be honest, I thought we were big trouble. One, I didn't we had run that fast, then when I heard the time, didn't think that it would stay up there. I maybe I am glad that it didn't drive well, I would have been 30th or something like that. The car's handling didn't keep me from committing to the throttle which was helpful, it just wouldn't turn like I wanted to and it was so tight, the front tires were chattering and I thought I was going to knock the wall down off both two and four and still ended up putting down a good lap. I am pleased with the performance, didn't work on race trim, so I am not really sure what to expect. We have run well here before that I don't think it will be too tough for us to sort out the practice tomorrow."

ON AFTER DISAPPOINTMENT OF LAST YEAR'S RACE, ANY EXTRA INCENTIVE FOR THIS YEAR:

"The majority of last year is out of my mind, but what does stick in my mind from last year is that the end of this race was a fuel mileage race. So hopefully tomorrow we can address fuel mileage with the car and make sure the carburetor is adjusted right and if there is anything I can do inside the car, I am going to play with that in practice to see if we can stretch it any. Outside of that, our performance last year, we were strong. I remember the No. 07 being really strong and he had a spin in I believe turns one and two. We have been strong on the mile and a half stuff with winning the few races that we have and most recently at Fontana. We are going down the right road right now and hopefully we can capitalize."

ON JACQUES VILLENEUVE AT TALLADEGA:

"That is new news to me, I guess I haven't been paying enough attention this week. I have to share in Jeff (Gordon's) opinion on this. Not taking any shots at Jacques, but one truck race and I guess he must be racing this weekend, that is a very quick period of time to put somebody in that situation. He is a world-class driver, a world champion, and again, I am not trying to take anything away from him, but, there is a lot at state. There is a lot of unknowns out there with the new generation race car at Talladega. I share Jeff's concerns, I am not sure that is the best situation."

ON PAST PERFORMANCE AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY:

"I can't remember the races and what has gone on, but I have a great feeling about this track when I see it on the schedule. I remember running well and have great thoughts and excited to come back. I know I haven't won here, I didn't realize I didn't have a top-five here, but I am looking forward to it. Looking at the lineup of tracks in the Chase, I think all 10 are strong for me and I have been excited to come back to Kansas."

ON QUALIFYING TAKING ON MORE IMPORTANCE FOR CHASE DRIVERS:

"At Dover, yes, and I was proud of that pole than anything that I have done in qualifying this year because of the pit road situation being what it is and track position being so tough. We focused on a pole and thankfully, we got that done. We have tried that at other points throughout the season and ended up 15th and leave frustrated as all can be on Friday night so I was happy to see that come through. Today, with the Monte Carlo SS, we have our package sorted out and the amount of changes we will do in a race practice. It is just small fine-tuning, the track changes so much from today to tomorrow we would just be chasing ourselves. That was really the thought for today.

At Loudon in the Impala SS, we focused strictly on qualifying trim because it was going to rain on Saturday and it ended up working out that way. In general especially with the new car, we will focus more on race runs on Friday just trying to sort the new car out."

ON UPS AND DOWNS IN THE CHASE AND UNDERSTANDING IT:

"Yes, I do. I think last year's Chase is helping us with our approach this year and unfortunately, I think it is helping the other Chase competitors out as well. They are thinking hey, we are 10th, 11th, 12th, where ever they may be right now, but the No 48 recovered last year. We did a great job but things also came our way, we got off to a slow start. I remember early in the Chase, the No. 31, he couldn't mess up. He has so many good races getting started that I felt like it was up to other competitors to make mistakes top give us a shot. We performed and did our job with all those second place finishes, but some guys had to have trouble and we go that. I don't know with 12 guys in the Chase, if that is a possibility. I think that is a possibility, but it will be much more difficult and it is still too early in the Chase to really know what is going to take place. I think you get to seven, eight races in - you can form a strategy. You can look at guys and so, ok, they are probably out, this is where the race is. But in a lot of ways, I think it is anyone's championship right now."

-credit: gm racing

Be part of something big

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