Loudon: Jimmie Johnson preview

Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to New Hampshire International Speedway for Sunday's race on the mile oval. The 2006 Nextel Cup Champion finished 17th in Sunday's race in Infineon Raceway and is third...

Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to New Hampshire International Speedway for Sunday's race on the mile oval. The 2006 Nextel Cup Champion finished 17th in Sunday's race in Infineon Raceway and is third in the 2007 points race trailing Jeff Gordon by 337 points.

Johnson will drive the Chevrolet Impala SS in the eighth race of the season for the "Car of Tomorrow." Johnson's four victories equal Gordon's as the most for any driver in 2007. Johnson swept both races at NHIS in 2003.

Sunday will mark Johnson's 200th start in Nextel Cup racing. Johnson started his first race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Oct. 7, 2001. He started 15th and finished 39th. Since then he has gone on to win a championship as well as 27 races giving him sole possession of 22nd place on the all-time victory list since 1949.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

NEW HAMPSHIRE INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: "We always put a lot of time and effort into the race at New Hampshire. This race is really important because it gets you ready for the second one, which is the first race of the Chase. So running well this weekend and when we come back is pretty important."

NHIS CHALLENGES: "It's not really one thing. I think you've got a few factors at Loudon to deal with. It's a short sprint race on a short track. Luck, in not being caught up in any incidents, plays a key role in that. At the same time, if we have a strong car we can control our own destiny. Our goal is always to win practice, win the pole and lead every lap. Anything less means there is work to do."

TWO HUNDREDTH START: "That's hard to believe. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago I was making my first start at Lowe's Motor Speedway. I'm very proud of our success. I might be the happiest person in the garage. A lot of people have played a role in my career and I'll never be able to repay their kindness. I'm looking forward to the next 200 races."

-credit: hm

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson