Watkins Glen: Jimmie Johnson preview

Jimmie Johnson Watkins Glen Preview Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Watkins Glen International Raceway for Sunday's second and final road course race of the 2007 season. The 2006 champion broke...

Jimmie Johnson Watkins Glen Preview

Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Watkins Glen International Raceway for Sunday's second and final road course race of the 2007 season. The 2006 champion broke his recent string of bad luck last weekend at Pocono where he finished fifth. Sunday's race marks the first running of the Impala SS "Car of Tomorrow" on the 2.45 mile track.

With five races until the start of the "Chase for the Championship" Johnson is seventh in points. But under the new scoring system that equalizes the points for all 12 "Chase" drivers then adds ten points for each victory, Johnson would start the "Chase" tied for first with teammate Jeff Gordon -- both own four victories. Johnson is looking for his first road course race victory of his career. He's prioritized road course racing by testing at Road Atlanta in July as well as racing in Grand Am events at Daytona earlier this year. Johnson qualified a Daytona Prototype second in the July Rolex Series race at Daytona.

DRIVER JIMMIE JOHNSON:

WATKINS GLEN AND ITS DIFFERENCES COMPARED TO INFINEON: "I love road course racing. I have been working hard to get better and better. One of my goals is to get a win on a road course. There's history everywhere at Watkins Glen. The race will be tough as it always is. The number one goal is to stay on track. Any off track trip here and your day is just about ruined. The technical difference between Watkins Glen and (Infineon) is the aero platform you are trying to run in the car. At the Glen you have a lot higher speeds and the track is less abrasive so it seems to have more grip. You can get away with a lot stronger rear springs and keep a better aero platform in the car and help the splitter stay down on the ground and performing. At (Infineon) the corner speed is so slow and you have to accelerate so hard that you have to run a much softer rear spring package and you don't have as good of an aero platform. It's more mechanical grip.

"I think the key this weekend will be the guys that save their brakes for the shootout at the end are the ones who are going to do well. I'm going to try to manage my brakes the first half of the race and avoid running out of brakes at the end."

NEW CHASE SCORING SYSTEM: "The 'Chase' format certainly is forgiving. I've been on both sides of it now where I've had a nice points lead and hated the fact that the Chase was coming. And then now being in the situation that if it worked to my advantage, I'd be right back in the middle of it. So, it's an interesting range of emotions to go through. But the rules are the rules, and we're going to do everything we can to try to be the champion come the end of the season."

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson