Chicagoland: Jimmie Johnson Saturday report

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Note - Due to an engine change Johnson will start at the rear of the field for the second straight year. CAN ANYBODY STOP KEVIN HARVICK? "I hope so. That's what we're here for. Last year we...

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Note - Due to an engine change Johnson will start at the rear of the field for the second straight year.

CAN ANYBODY STOP KEVIN HARVICK?

"I hope so. That's what we're here for. Last year we had a great car and had to come from the back. And the way the fuel worked out at the end, we were the first car that had to pit in line and we ended up fourth. There were three guys that didn't have to stop. So I think we've got a great chance. We've got a great feel for this track. Obviously, there are a lot of guys out there that are good at this place too. Kevin has been the guy to beat here along with the No. 20 (Tony Stewart) and the No. 12 (Ryan Newman) are going to be tough along with some of the other guys. It's going to be a good race."

ON HAVING TO CHANGE ENGINES, A BUMP WITH JOHNNY BENSON, AND ON OTHER PROBLEMS

"We've had all kinds of gremlins show up this weekend. Yesterday before qualifying we had a bunch of little problems. Then, the car was hard to start all day long and after qualifying we found that a spark plug had started to come apart and killed the number one cylinder so we had to change engines. And then this morning when we went out for practice, the front brakes locked up on the car and we had to change the brake system out. And then, I ran into the back of the No. 10 car (Johnny Benson). He was trying to get to pit road. It's real deceiving when you both enter the corner and you drive around so hard on the gas to get to pit road. He hit the brakes to slow down and I tried to move up but I didn't want to tug on the wheel too hard at 170 mph and crash myself. I tried to squeak by and I clipped him with the left front (fender). I caved the fender in and tore his car up. It's just something else. My guys are taking it well and having fun with it, but hopefully we've gotten all the bad luck out of the way before tomorrow's race."

YOU WERE FAST IN HAPPY HOUR BUT DOES THAT MEAN ANYTHING FOR THE RACE?

"It makes you sleep well tonight. So it definitely helps to be the fastest in Happy Hour. But the track is really starting to change and we're going to pay close attention to what goes on in the Busch race to get an idea of what's going to happen. But the track's had a lot of grip and I think we've now had enough laps on it and enough rubber down to where it's starting to change and we just need to be on top of it."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Ryan Newman , Johnny Benson , Jimmie Johnson