Phoenix II: Jimmie Johnson preview

Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday's ninth of the ten-race 2007 "Chase for the Nextel Cup." After posting his 32nd career victory at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Johnson leads ...

Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday's ninth of the ten-race 2007 "Chase for the Nextel Cup." After posting his 32nd career victory at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Johnson leads teammate Jeff Gordon by 30 points. Johnson hopes to drive his Chevrolet Impala SS "Car of Tomorrow" to his fourth consecutive victory this weekend equaling a modern era record held by seven drivers. Johnson has won 10 of the 38 "Chase" races since NASCAR created the new format four years ago. Only Phoenix and Homestead remain on the 2007 "Chase" schedule.

JIMMIE JOHNSON ON RECENT STRING OF SUCCESS: "I think that we've been on quite a roll here and going to victory lane does something for the crew and the shop that you couldn't do any other way. When you go to victory lane, there's just a buzz that goes through all of Hendrick Motorsports and really on the 48 team."

OUTLOOK: "We have momentum going our direction right now but it's only 30 points and if you look at the last two weeks, I've been able to make up roughly 60 points. Jeff hasn't had bad races the last two events. He's had strong he finishes. So it's not like he's had bad nights. I can finish tenth, he can win, and I'm back in second. So we have a lot of work ahead of us and are happy to be in a position to race for the championship. With good racetracks coming up for us, good race cars in the lineup and momentum from the victories, and our guys are showing up hungry every week, we're trying to get as many points as we can."

SECOND HALF "CHASE" SURGES: "I think tracks have something to do with it. There are good tracks that we see in the spring and fall and that has a lot to do with it. I feel that we have no idea. We just show up and we do the same job every week that we always do but there are certain tracks that we are better at."

RACING AND FRIENDSHIP WITH JEFF GORDON: "This is racing. You have to check your emotions at the gate when you come in here. Motorsports is such a humbling experience and I've been very fortunate to experience in my career a lot of great things but the road getting here was a tough one and I think a lot of people know the career that I've had, and things that I've had to do to get to this point and it's been a long battle. Motorsports will eat people up and spit them out, and I just want to capitalize on this opportunity that I have. Jeff is a great friend and great teammate, but he's also the most challenging guy out there for me to beat. And that's with all the respect in the world. But I don't feel bad for him and I know he wouldn't, either. If something happened where he had bad luck and we ended up winning the championship, that's where I would feel bad. But the fact that we are racing as hard as we are for it right now, it's racing."

CHASSIS

* Johnson will race chassis 461 at Phoenix. This car won at Martinsville on Oct. 21. Chassis 424 will serve as the backup. It won the April 6 and Sept. 8 races at Richmond. (see chassis results below.)

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson