Jimmie Johnson heads to Lowe's Motor Speedway vying for his third All-Star Race win. Saturday night's non-points event will be the seventh of his career. If Team Lowe's Racing finds victory lane, Johnson would tie teammate Jeff Gordon and the late...
Jimmie Johnson heads to Lowe's Motor Speedway vying for his third All-Star Race win. Saturday night's non-points event will be the seventh of his career. If Team Lowe's Racing finds victory lane, Johnson would tie teammate Jeff Gordon and the late Dale Earnhardt for number of all-star wins.
Johnson has been the car to beat at Lowe's Motor Speedway since his first All-Star win there in 2003. Since then, the Lowe's driver has won six more races at the 1.5-mile venue.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE EXCITEMENT AROUND THE NIGHT OF THE ALL-STAR RACE? "It is a great night. I think everybody looks forward to it, it doesn't matter if you are a driver or a crew member or whatever that may be, everybody is fired up for that race. The cool million at the end of the night is something everyone wants a shot at too. I really do love it. I really, really enjoy the All-Star event and am glad to see that it is growing in popularity and all that Sprint is getting behind it. They have been advertising it like crazy. So I am excited to see all that and look forward to putting on a good show."
YOU HAVE TWO WEEKS IN CHARLOTTE, IS IT LIKE A VACATION BEING HOME FOR TWO WEEKS? "No, not for me. Being the Lowe's driver at Lowe's Motor Speedway is pretty busy for me. It's that way for a lot of the teams. You're able to sleep in your own bed and enjoy that, but that's a hometown track. There's just a lot going on. All sponsors, NASCAR, Sprint -- you know everybody involved does whatever they can to really blow out being at home and everybody does a great job. It's an active week, two weeks for us.
"On top of that, with all the testing we have now with the Cup car, the Nationwide test and then we're trying to get prepared for the road course events coming up with some road course testing, this month is really, really busy for this Lowe's race team and I assume it's that way throughout the garage."
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO DO THE BURNOUT COMPETITION? "It's just something different. Something cool. We sit around all day long and really don't do much. So we might as well do something. The unique opportunity like this I'll definitely carve the time out for and have some fun and put on a good show for the fans."
WHEN YOU DO A BURN-OUT, IS IT JUST A MATTER OF PUTTING ONE FOOT ON THE ACCELERATOR AND ONE ON THE BRAKE AND HOLDING ON? "It kind of depends. I didn't practice the burn-outs. So I'll just kind of be there and see what the car will do. I'm not sure how much horsepower we'll have or what the tire situation will be on the cars, but I'll watch the guys. Hopefully I'm not the first guy, but I'll watch the guys in front of me and just have some fun and let 'er rip."
PART OF THE ALL-STAR WEEK IS THE PIT CREW CHALLENGE. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO PUMP YOUR GUYS UP FOR THAT? ARE YOU GOING TO SHOW UP AND BE A CHEERLEADER ON THE SIDELINES?
"Absolutely. I'll be there to cheer my guys on. There is nothing I can really do. They've been practicing and working on whatever techniques are needed for that event. I would imagine it's a lot like last year, which is much different than a normal pit stop. So they're working hard on it and everybody wants those bragging rights. So I know everybody is going to put a lot into it and I'm going to be there to cheer them on."
Chassis No. 480 will be used as the primary for Team Lowe's Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race. In its only other start, Johnson drove the car to a 13th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway (March 2008).
The backup chassis is No. 417, which Jeff Gordon finished third in at Darlington Raceway last weekend. Gordon has collected three top-five finishes in that car, including a win at Darlington in May 2007.