Martinsville II: Jimmie Johnson preview

Martinsville Speedway * Johnson has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway where he has earned six wins, including five of the last six events at the half-mile venue. * He has also collected 11 top-five and 14 ...

Martinsville Speedway

* Johnson has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway where he has earned six wins, including five of the last six events at the half-mile venue.

* He has also collected 11 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. His only finish below 10th was his first visit to the track in 2002.

* Johnson has completed 99.3% (7456 of 7510) of competition laps at the track and has led 1387.

* He has an average start and finish of 11.8 and 5.3.

Chassis

* Johnson has driven primary chassis number 540 three times this season, with all three races ending in top ten results. The most recent was a 4th-place finish at Loudon in September.

* Backup chassis number 520 has four wins in five Cup Series starts.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

ON MARTINSVILLE AND DOUBLE-FILE RESTARTS THERE: "I think it's going to be a good race. I'm excited about the race in the later stages as rubber is laid on that inside groove and you can start working the outside lane. I think that will be helpful with the double-file restarts at the end and we'll have a good lane to race with. I think that double-file restarts are going to make it more intense and more exciting; a lot of the same stuff we've been seeing. I think at the start of a race, you might see some guys forcing their way to the bottom and maybe taking some unneeded risks to get down to the bottom lane. But I think at the end of the race you'll see guys stuck door-to-door for a long, long time and not able to clear the other guy and take that position. I think it's going to be a great race. It's been a good track to us over the years and it's been an opportunity for us to gain points on some of the other Chase contenders that maybe don't prefer or like that track."

A 90-point lead now with your best track coming up. How much of this basically comes down to you getting through Talladega unscathed at this point? "Sure, that's the track that you don't have any control at. But at the same time, I mean, we're only halfway through this thing. So much can happen. Somebody at Martinsville can lose their brakes and clean you out. With the double file restart there's going to be a lot of bumping and banging. Someone can get into you and knock a valve stem out or cut a tire. I mean, it's a nice points lead, but there's no need for anybody to get too excited yet. We've got good tracks ahead for us, so from a team standpoint we're excited and optimistic, but at the same time there's a lot of danger out there and we've just got to be smart."

-credit: hm

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Series NASCAR-CUP