JIMMIE JOHNSON (Lowe's No. 28 Chevrolet Monte Carlo): Finished second: TAKE US THROUGHT YOUR DAY. "The first half was obviously pretty good. The track started to tighten up. We were very competitive but I got behind at the beginning. The 20...
JIMMIE JOHNSON (Lowe's No. 28 Chevrolet Monte Carlo): Finished second:
TAKE US THROUGHT YOUR DAY.
"The first half was obviously pretty good. The track started to tighten up. We were very competitive but I got behind at the beginning. The 20 car got to us and I let him go. I think we all pitted. We went 10 or 15 laps and the caution came out again. We pitted, thinking a lot of other people we going to pit, but nobody else did. We lost a lot of track position in the process, coming back out in 17th. We had about 130 laps to go, and we were able to work our way back to third. We really thought there were going to be a lot more guys pitting and we would have been a little farther up and our strategy really would have worked out, but it didn't work out that way."
HAVING SWEPT IN MAY, HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU THAT YOU COULD PULL OFF THE SWEEP?
"I was very confident. >From the moment we unloaded the car here for the weekend, it was on the money. The way it handled in the race working through traffic--I passed a lot of race cars here tonight, it seemed like, and I really wish we could have made history here tonight."
HOW MUCH MORE IMPORTANT ARE TIRES HERE THAN AT OTHER PLACES?
"They're really important. I'm surprised that the 12 car's strategy worked out as well as it did. This is one of the tracks we were looking at and saying, 'fuel mileage won't win this race here; tires are too important,' and it was about five laps from happening again. Those guys are crunching the numbers and playing the math game and making it work. The rest of us are racing one another and as soon as one pits, everyone pits, and those guys have been on their own strategy and it's been working for them."
WHAT HAPPENED ON PIT ROAD [LAP 169]?
"I just thought I'd make an extra lap [laughter]. I came to pit road and I was looking in the mirror to see if anyone else was coming and there wasn't a soul behind me. I was so busy looking in the mirror and at my speedometer, then I hear Chad [Knaus] say, 'hey, man, where you going?' I looked out the window and I was driving right on by the pit. Luckily, no one else was coming to pit road. But at the same time we were hoping that a lot of people were going to pit. That was where our strategy went wrong and why we finished third."
TONY STEWART COMMENTED IN VICTORY LANE THAT FINALLY THE FASTEST CAR WIN THE RACE. YOUR THOUGHTS?
"I'm happy to see it too, but I finished third and the car that played the fuel mileage game finished second and almost won the race. I'm happy to see it turn out this way and the way it sounds for next year, we might have a softer tire, a tire that gives up to where this type of thing won't happen as much. But our engineers and crew chiefs are paying close attention to what those guys are doing, and we never would have thought that playing that strategy here of all places would have worked, but it almost did. I'm happy to see that it turned out the way it did, but I really wish it was the Lowe's car winning here at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but we finished third and we got beat by some strategy on the 12 car's behalf."