Michigan II: Jimmie Johnson preview

Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe's Racing return to Michigan International Speedway for the second time this season when they take the green-flag in the No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet in Sunday's Sprint Cup event. Johnson started and finished sixth...

Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe's Racing return to Michigan International Speedway for the second time this season when they take the green-flag in the No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet in Sunday's Sprint Cup event.

Johnson started and finished sixth at the 1.5-mile track in June and has collected a total of six top-10 finishes in 13 starts at the Brooklyn, Mich. venue. It is one of only seven tracks at which the back-to-back Sprint Cup Champion hasn't visited Victory Lane.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

ON NOT WINNING AT MICHIGAN YET: "To be honest with you, I'm shocked that we haven't won here. We've had very good cars and have been in contention a couple of different times. It always seems like there's a crazy strategy at the end that keeps us from winning. It's either a two-tire deal, we've taken no tires when we've had a great race car and been leading and lost to guys that have had tires. We've also lost to fuel mileage before. So it's just a weird finish to this race. In some cases the best car wins here but in other cases it's something strategy-wise that plays out and it just hasn't worked for us here."

DO YOU ENJOY RACING AT MIS? "Yeah, definitely. This track is a lot of fun from the inside white line all the way up to the wall, you can find different lines to run on. It's probably one of the early forms of a progressively banked track and it's worked out really well over the years."

IN THE NEXT FIVE RACES, ARE YOU JUST RACING NOW FOR BONUS POINTS SINCE ONCE YOU'RE IN, YOU'RE IN. DOES IT CHANGE THE WAY YOU APPROACH THESE NEXT FIVE RACES? "I don't think about it that much, to be honest with you. I just give it everything I can every lap and if it's for a win, great. I think Texas was a good example of that last year of racing with (Matt) Kenseth. I really wasn't thinking about what was on the line. I just knew that we could win and I was going to do what I could to win. Over the years, and that may change, I've had a good understanding of what's pushing too hard and what's not trying hard enough and finding that balance to race for wins and win a lot of races but not make too many mistakes. And I hope that never changes. If that does change and I make bad decisions, then I'll probably think a little bit more. But right now I just try to keep things as simple as possible. I try to lead a lap to get the bonus, and try to lead the most laps if I can, and try to finish as good as I can without sticking it in the fence and without not finishing the event."

RACE NOTES:

Michigan International Speedway

* Johnson has made 13 Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway, posting two top-five and six top-10 finishes.

* He won the pole position there in August of 2004.

* Johnson has completed 95.2% (2413 of 2535) of competition laps at the 1.5-mile oval and has led 219.

* Johnson has an average start and finish of 10.5 and 14.2.

Chassis

* Chassis No. 465 will be the primary for Sunday's Sprint Cup event. Johnson has posted three top-ten finishes in that chassis this season, including runner-up results at California (Feb.) and Texas (April).

* He also has three top-10 finishes in the backup chassis, No. 504. Most recently, he drove it to a third-place result at Pocono Raceway (Aug. 3).

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson