Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson preview

Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson starts 21st in Sunday's 49th Daytona 500. Johnson finished 11th in the first of Thursday's two 150-mile qualifying races that set the field for Sunday's race. Johnson is attempting to become the ...

Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson starts 21st in Sunday's 49th Daytona 500. Johnson finished 11th in the first of Thursday's two 150-mile qualifying races that set the field for Sunday's race. Johnson is attempting to become the first back-to-back Daytona 500 champion since Sterling Marlin in 1995.

DRIVER JIMMIE JOHNSON QUOTES:

CHANCES ON SUNDAY: "Our chances are good but this year's 500 is a lot different than last year's. The car that I would really like to have is sitting over in Daytona USA right now. There's new tires, a smaller restrictor plate, and it's just a whole new year so that makes it tough to figure how everything is going to play out. I know this Lowe's team is trying and will do everything it can to win."

QUALIFYING RACE: "It wasn't like we thought it would be. We had a great driving race car but we didn't have the straight-line speed that we were looking for. We made some changes after yesterday's practice, because of the wind, and I think we went just a little too far. So we'll make some adjustments to it (Thursday night) and see how practice goes on Friday. (Teammate) Jeff (Gordon) won but I am not sure he was real happy with his car and I know (teammate) Casey Mears had a similar driving car to mine. We have been working on trying to get our car to handle but we lost too much straight-away speed in the process. So we have to find a happy medium."

BUMP DRAFTING: "I think NASCAR has done a good job putting in the new rules about bump-drafting in the corners. And if you're slamming too hard on the straight-aways, then they'll get on you. I think if you look at the wrecks we've had from before and after the rule and it's been a good change. So we're going in the right direction. The more we have time to play with it, the more we know how to manipulate the system. That's just human nature"

Race Notes

Daytona

* In 10 starts at Daytona, Johnson has completed all but one of the 1,715 laps. He owns one victory, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes. His average starting spot is 8.6 and average finish is 9.5. He has never experienced a DNF at Daytona.

-credit: hm

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson