Charlotte: Johnson - Saturday media visit

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS, TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT PREPARING FOR SUNDAY'S RACE, TESTING THE NEW IMPALA SS RACE CAR, AND MORE: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY TO THE TROOPS ON THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND? "Oh, we're just happy to be...

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS, TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT PREPARING FOR SUNDAY'S RACE, TESTING THE NEW IMPALA SS RACE CAR, AND MORE:

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY TO THE TROOPS ON THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND? "Oh, we're just happy to be representing the armed forces with the Power of Pride with USO on the car and I'm very proud to have it on my car again this year. Hopefully we can take it back to victory lane. We can't thank the troops enough and hopefully we do a good job on Sunday in honoring all of them."

ON THE EXTRA 100 MILES IN SUNDAY'S RACE "I've picked up the training a bit over the past couple of weeks because of running the Busch race and the Cup race this weekend. But then it's that time of the year anyway with simmer coming.

"Really, during the event hydration is probably the biggest thing. Beforehand, cycling and running, but that's kind of normal stuff. Starting Wednesday, is important for the hydration. And especially after Saturday's Busch race, I'm trying to get hydrated and ready for Sunday's race in the Cup car.

"What that really boils down to is really drinking enough during the race in the Busch race. We all need to force ourselves to drink enough when we're out of the cars, but when you're in the car for that three to four hour period of time you can't get behind."

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WIN SUCH A LONG RACE? "There are points in the race when you're not going to feel like you have a winning car, so you have to be patient and hopefully your strategy and your set-up and things kind of come to you. It's a long night."

WHAT DO YOU NEED ON THE BUSCH SIDE TO BREAK THROUGH AND WIN? "I wish I knew. Hopefully we can change that. The Busch car has been frustrating to me and I keep coming back for more. I'm thankful to Mr. Hendrick and all the guys to put together such a good effort for me. The car has been really strong. Hopefully I can get out there and win my second Busch race ever."

DO YOU NEED TO ADD ANY MORE TESTS THIS YEAR TO GET THE CAR OF TOMORROW READY FOR NEXT YEAR? "I think we would all like to have more test sessions. I understand why we don't. Now that we've lost the Dover test, it would be nice if we had more testing with the Car of Tomorrow. And then if you look forward to the Car of Tomorrow in '08, I think it would be wise to get on some 1.5 and two-mile tracks."

DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THAT CAR ON AN INTERMEDIATE TRACK LIKE THIS ONE (LMS) YET? "I've never been on a 1.5-mile or two-mile track with the new car. It's only been the races that we've run. And then I did one test at Talladega and the car was really comfortable there. But it's pretty wide around there."

HOW IMPORTANT IS A FRONT ROW SPOT FOR THIS 600-MILE RACE? "Qualifying is always important for pit selection, but with a long race, you'd like to start up front and to be up front you can avoid problems there, but we're not concerned. I think we started the 600 (in) last (place) a couple years back, but still worked our way to the front."

COULD YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MIS AND WHY YOU HAVEN'T DONE AS WELL THERE AS AT OTHER TRACKS? "I don't know why. I usually run well and competitive, but at the end of the race, things just haven't worked out for us. I really like racing at that track and I certainly enjoy it, but we just don't have the finishes to show for it."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup