Atlanta: Jimmie Johnson preview

RACE NOTES Atlanta Motor Speedway * Johnson has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, collecting three wins, nine top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. * Johnson has collected more points at Atlanta Motor Speedway than...

RACE NOTES
Atlanta Motor Speedway

* Johnson has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, collecting three wins, nine top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.

* Johnson has collected more points at Atlanta Motor Speedway than any other driver over the past 3 races and has won two of the last four events there.

* The Team Lowe's Racing driver has completed 99.6% (4782 of 4802) of competition laps and has led 374.

* He has an average start and finish of 8.1 and 9.1.

Chassis

* Johnson will pilot chassis No. 502 in Sunday's race. He last drove that car to a third-place finish at Pocono Raceway in Aug. 2008.

* The backup chassis, No. 465, was last driven to a 17th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway in Aug. 2008.

NEWS & NOTES

Jimmie Johnson will assist Kobalt Tools and SkillsUSA in delivering the first set of tools to Hampton, Ga.'s Lovejoy High School Thursday as part of the Tough Tools for Cool Schools Program.

Lowe's and Kobalt Tools in partnership with SkillsUSA are proud to help the next generation of skilled trade professionals by donating approximately $300,000 worth of Kobalt tools to more than 500 SkillsUSA Building and Construction Trades Classes and Labs across the country for use in their classrooms.

Johnson's No. 48 Impala SS will also showcase a Tough Tools for Cool Schools paint scheme, which he will race on April 5 at the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Chandra Johnson is featured in the March 2009 issue of Vogue. She is shown in an outfit by South Charlotte boutique, Capitol.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

YOU DIDN'T GET OFF TO A FAST SEASON IN '08, BUT THINGS WORKED OUT. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE FROM THAT AND HOW THAT CAN HELP YOU MOVING FORWARD? "Yes, last year we got off to a slow start but it was more of a panic situation than what we have right now because we didn't have the speed in the cars. This year it's different. We've got fast cars but just haven't linked together a solid four or 500 miles and taken advantage of the great cars that we've had. I feel like we're in a great position and there is so much racing between now and even when the Chase starts that anything can happen. It's only three races in. Guys are going to have bad luck and hopefully ours is behind us and we can climb up the points ladder here. I'm not worried. I'm not stressed. I'm really optimistic and excited about the next few races."

WHAT ABOUT ATLANTA? WHAT ARE THE ISSUES THERE? "Atlanta is going to be kind of like Darlington and the way we used to race Darlington. The track is really old and there's not a lot of grip and it's real rough so you've got to have a good balanced race car that's comfortable and where you're not taking a lot of risk and have a safe event. I think that will be kind of the same we've seen lately. I think early in the race and early in the weekend we'll see excessive tire wear until the track starts to rubber up. Hopefully there are no big issues there. Outside of that, I hope it warms up. Obviously here in Charlotte there's snow and ice on the ground and Atlanta isn't that far away (laughs). So hopefully the weather breaks and we can have a great turnout with fans and put on a great show."

HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU AT THIS POINT ON YOUR 1.5-MILE AND 2-MILE TRACK PROGRAM? "I'm really pleased with where we are right now. This weekend will be another test to that, but if you look at our performance at Las Vegas last year versus what it was this year we've made some great strides. I'm still reserving a little bit of hesitation for Texas and Charlotte and stuff like that, but Atlanta will be a true test of where we are with that. We've worked really hard to address those issues on those tracks and hopefully my opinion is right and there is no need to be concerned and we've got everything in order."

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson