Loudon: Jimmie Johnson preview

Johnson continues to build on strong season. Team Lowe's Racing posts fifth top-five and 12th top-10 of the season. LOUDON, N.H. (July 16, 2002) -- Team Lowe's Racing and rookie driver Jimmie Johnson are riding high after following their fifth...

Johnson continues to build on strong season.
Team Lowe's Racing posts fifth top-five and 12th top-10 of the season.

LOUDON, N.H. (July 16, 2002) -- Team Lowe's Racing and rookie driver Jimmie Johnson are riding high after following their fifth top-five and 12th top-10 of the season in last Sunday's Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Team Lowe's won the Waste Management "Picking Up Places" award after starting 37th and finishing fourth, using a backup Lowe's Chevy following a crash in Friday's practice session to pick up 33 positions.

Team Lowe's will head to New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H. this weekend to battle in the New England 300. This will be Johnson's third NASCAR race at the just over one-mile oval, his first in a NASCAR Winston Cup race car. In his two NASCAR Busch Series appearances, Johnson posted two top-15 finishes.

Jimmie Johnson on New Hampshire International Speedway "New Hampshire is a really tight and flat racetrack with little banking in the turns. In the Busch Series, I've had decent success there, finishing in the top-15 each time. They've made some changes there trying to open things up a little and repaving it, so it will be interesting to see how that affects the racing.

"Jeff (Gordon) has run well there in the past, so we're hoping to be strong when we unload and fine tune the Lowe's Chevy for a strong run on Sunday."

Jimmie Johnson on his Chicagoland Speedway finish
"It's incredible. These guys at Hendrick Motorsports on this Lowe's number 48 car have been giving me great cars. We don't really have backup cars but we had to unload one that we didn't intend on racing and come back finish fourth. We passed more cars than anyone all day long and were the fastest in a long of segments but just didn't have the track position. We're not upset at all to come back and finish fourth through this. It was an incredible day for the Lowe's Monte Carlo."

Jimmie Johnson on testing at Indy
"That was the first time that I've been at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's neat pulling out onto the racetrack after watching so many races here as a kid. The track is so narrow and so fast, you're almost in the tunnel going down the front stretch going into turn one and it's taking me a little bit to get use to it. Overall, the test is really going well. I can already tell that qualifying is going to be really important here. With this track, I can tell that track position is going to play a big role in the race here next month.

"Chad (Knaus) has very organized testing sessions. The first day we concentrate on doing race runs and getting me as much seat time as possible. Usually the final run of the day we'll do a qualifying run and let me sleep on it over night. The second day we'll come back and work on qualifying runs."

-hm/tlr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports