Talladega: Jimmie Johnson preview

Team 48 Talladega Superspeedway Preview Lowe's driver Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for Sunday's ninth race of the 2007 season. Johnson has won three and his Hendrick Motorsports...

Team 48 Talladega Superspeedway Preview

Lowe's driver Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for Sunday's ninth race of the 2007 season. Johnson has won three and his Hendrick Motorsports team owns five victories in the first eight races.

The four-driver team credits teamwork as one of the ingredients to the success in 2007. Jeff Gordon, Johnson, and Kyle Bush are each in the top six in the points. Gordon leads, Johnson is fourth in points trailing by 211 and Busch is sixth. Johnson will race the car Sunday he won with at Talladega in April 2006.

DRIVER JIMMIE JOHNSON QUOTES:

SECRET TO SUCCESS: "Rick is really great at putting people together. He can see relationships and how they work -- not only with the driver and the crew chief, but also with management, the engine shop, and the chassis guys. It's hard to explain it. I'm not sure we could recreate it. But it's worked for a lot of years."

WHAT IS A GOOD TEAMMATE? "A teammate is someone who you can work with and go to and count on to further your organization and your team. As drivers, it's our job to be honest and communicate about everything you feel in the cars and make post race notes and be involved in all the meetings and debriefings we have and put it all out there. I think over time, we've been able to prove that we can work together as teammates and it helps the organization. And when you're having a problem, they're willing to help you.

"So it's really about having a partner in this deal and not being a single car team out there on your own. I think that's what happened in years past and why there are multi-car teams."

WHEN, OR AT WHAT POINT IN COMPETITION, DOES THAT END? "I don't think it does. Rick preaches this to us all the time. We've worked years and years and years to get the company to where it is. With one wrong move, you can unravel all of that. I think there is a line that you need to pay attention to, and some respect that you have to have with your teammates on and off the track. But there's a fine line. You have to get up there and lean on the line but you can't cross it."

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE HAVING YOUR TEAMMATES AS THE MAIN COMPETIION? "Unlike F-1 or some other forms of racing where teammates are so focused on beating each other, we're worried about taking care of the company and making sure we have good cars for a long period of time. And if you get too selfish and look at the short-term gain, you can unravel what's been put together and hurt everyone. We all understand that. There's a line we can get up to and push against and race each other hard and challenge each other, but one race isn't worth unraveling an entire season."

TALLADEGA: "Talladega really promotes four wide racing and that is a risky environment out there when that takes place. I learned a lot winning the Daytona and Talladega last year and how calm you really can be and have a shot at the end of the race. I am going to take those lessons I learned and apply them this weekend."

NOTES

Talladega Superspeedway

* In ten starts, Johnson has completed all 1,770 of 1,888 laps. He owns an average starting spot of 7 and average finish of 21. He has led 168 laps at Talladega.

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports