Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo - qualifies 11th - fastest qualifying rookie Press Conference "We tested here and knew we had a set-up that fit my driving style. We chose to follow how the No. 24 car was set-up. In practice,...
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo - qualifies 11th -
fastest qualifying rookie
"We tested here and knew we had a set-up that fit my driving style. We chose to follow how the No. 24 car was set-up. In practice, we were decent but we felt another package had a little bit more to it. We had tested here with it and so we decided to put it in and see if we could do any better. The way the tires fall off here, it was hard to know if it made it better or not. The track conditions were very similar with the temperature and all. So we tried it and the car was really good. I was conservative on my first lap. I wanted to make sure I had had a starting spot in this race. We stepped it up for the second lap.
After winning the pole for the Daytona 500, did you have any aspirations of back-to-back poles?
"Realistically, no. Daytona was everything to do with Chad Knaus (crew chief) and Hendrick Motorsports and that whole No. 48 team. I'm very happy with the qualifying effort here. The driver plays a much bigger part in how the car performs at all these other tracks outside of superspeedways. So it makes me feel better about my abilities in the start of the season. We'll get some more experience tomorrow and I'm excited about the race."
What is the culture shock been like with the media between the Busch Series and the Winston Cup Series
"It's an amazing difference just to put Winston Cup in front of your name instead of Busch Grand National driver. It makes a huge difference. There's been a big change since Daytona. There was a lot of excitement there. You can't even walk down pit road to your racecar without a sea of people. It's a lot different and it actually adds a lot of stress and pressure to you because you can feel want you for autographs and photos and all. You want to be nice to everyone, but at the same time you need to get in that racecar and do your job. It's really hard to stay focused. It seems like the fans and the media give you some space and I've been appreciative of that. I'm looking forward to walking out to pit road and hopping in the car and put the window net up and my helmet on and just sit there to have some time to myself to drive a lap and get recalibrated and back to the racing."