JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 2nd, "It was a great effort by the Lowe's team to come back here and be as competitive as we were in the spring for the pole. It was different roles this time. Ryan got the pole and...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 2nd,
"It was a great effort by the Lowe's team to come back here and be as competitive as we were in the spring for the pole. It was different roles this time. Ryan got the pole and I'm second, I'm looking to improve on the race run we had here in June. I think I finished 12th, but it wasn't a very good day for us on a whole. We're looking forward to Sunday's race and we're trying a whole new setup, a whole new package. One thing I'm excited about for my race team is that at this point in the year, we're starting to hit our peak and be more and more competitive. Last year, we peaked out real early and struggled at the end of the year. It was more of a struggle than we want to give credit to or think about. To be able to win last weekend and have a great car all weekend long, starting off here good and running well at Chicago, I'm very excited for the rest of the year and hopefully we can collect some more points and do better than we did last year."
IS FUEL MILEAGE GOING TO BE A BIG FACTOR THIS WEEKEND?
"I think everywhere we go, every weekend, that's going to be a factor. The only thing that changes that is the long cautions. Our goal every weekend is to be the first to put tires and fuel in the car and ride it out from there. That's the way the strategy is everywhere except I think Darlington or Rockingham."
YOU'VE BOTH DONE WELL HERE AND AT INDY. IS THIS AN INDICATION OF HOW YOU'LL DO AT INDY?
"Both race tracks have long straightaways and tight turns. Not everything will cross over, the track is a lot rougher here than what Indy is, but if you can find the balance with enough straightaway speed and also handling, you're going to run well. That applies both here and at Indy. I feel like we learned a couple of things at Indy that are going to help us with our race setup tomorrow in practice. That's what we're hoping for."
DO YOU THINK THAT RACING HAS BECOME MORE ABOUT STRATEGY AND FUEL MILEAGE THAN 'MY CAR IS FASTER THAN YOURS?'
"If you think about races that we go to where there's three or four groups and you see people running all over the place, you don't hear about aero push as much and the other issues. Michigan, Atlanta, Las Vegas, California, Chicago is starting to open up. When you see those big groups, there's only one corner here where there's a second groove and that's Turn 1. So, fuel mileage, track position, all those things are going be that much more important here than it would at those other tracks. It's always going to be important because the competition is so close. The biggest gaps between the teams right now are fuel consumption and pit stops. On the track, everything else is closed up. There's only tenths to be gained out there, and there's still a lap or a second to be found in the pits. That's why there's so much emphasis on what is happening, aside from the typical racing on the race track."