Richmond: Jimmie Johnson preview

Richmond International Raceway * Johnson has made 14 Cup Series starts at Richmond International Raceway, posting three wins, including last fall's race. * He has four top-five and four top-10 finishes. * He has won two pole positions there...

Richmond International Raceway

* Johnson has made 14 Cup Series starts at Richmond International Raceway, posting three wins, including last fall's race.

* He has four top-five and four top-10 finishes.

* He has won two pole positions there -- Sept. 2002 and Sept. 2007

* Johnson has completed 92.2% (5168 of 5603) of competition laps at the .75-mile oval and has led 369.

* Johnson has an average start and finish of 11.9 and 17.5.

Chassis

* Johnson has driven primary chassis No. 520 four times previously and has won the race each of those four times. Those races include last year's fall events at Richmond, Martinsville and Phoenix, and Martinsville this season.

* He also has four top-10 starting spots in the chassis.

* The backup chassis, No. 461, was last driven to a runner-up finish at Loudon last fall.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

What is the key to a good run at Richmond? "We've been very good there the last few times. Things will cross over from Phoenix to Richmond. I'm not sure if we'll have that same tire or not, but that tire at Phoenix threw us for a loop and I think threw a lot of the teams for a loop. Once we get a good idea of the tire we can work on our set-up and either expand on last year's set-up if it's the same tire from last year or if it's the Phoenix tire we could be a little better and have to work on that and make the car turn the corner a little faster. I'm looking forward to it - it's been a great track for me. I've always loved the racing at Richmond and just recently started running well there so I can enjoy it from that perspective as well. I'm excited for it."

What did you do to figure Richmond out? "I really did have one of those moments. I tried for a lot of years to get it right, from the Nationwide through the Cup Series and all of the sudden it clicked. The way Jeff [Gordon] drives the car, I had to really consciously think about that and change my style to run better at those tracks - Phoenix, Richmond and Martinsville - and it worked. It was a similar period of time where I picked up on that style."

Is Richmond a place where you race the car, the competitor or the track? "It's tough to pass people. With them not putting any sealer down on it recently, the grooves from top to the bottom, there is a fair amount of grip. Granted you get smoking around there pretty quick and you get sideways easily, but it's not like at Darlington where you just have to focus on the track. To me, you just have to go like hell and try as hard as you can every single lap because track position is so important there. You can get along side someone, but you can't pull the pass off. To me it's like Saturday night racing. I just run every lap as hard as I can."

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson