Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson preview

Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson starts on the pole in Sunday's 50th Daytona 500. Johnson is attempting to become the first driver to win the Daytona 500 from the pole position since Dale Jarrett accomplished the feat in 2000. DRIVER ...

Lowe's Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson starts on the pole in Sunday's 50th Daytona 500. Johnson is attempting to become the first driver to win the Daytona 500 from the pole position since Dale Jarrett accomplished the feat in 2000.

DRIVER JIMMIE JOHNSON:

ON HIS TEAM'S GOALS IN THURSDAY'S GATORADE 150 DUEL: "We want to be careful and I think initially when we won the pole we thought let's be smart, let's not race. But then as a couple of days have gone by, we have an amazing back-up car. There is a trophy out there. We want to win the race. And we're going to go race for it. If there is something that's going on I don't like, I'll obviously find my way out. That's no different than what I'd normally do. I think our starting position, and my teammates that are up there with me, hopefully we can stay up in the first few rows and be in a smart position. I think the crazy position is going to be wherever that cutoff point is for who is going to make the 500. We'll be well-aware of that and who those cars are and what they're doing and try to be smart with that too."

ON WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE DAYTONA 500: "I think the cars close up easily, so there is going to be a lot of opportunity to pass. Surprisingly, as bad as they drive you can still save it. The cars are very uncomfortable, we can all see them bouncing around, moving around, but once the car takes off we've seen plenty of great saves. It's like the side plate or end plate of the wing catches the air and the shape of the side of the car does and it straightens the car back up.

"So, it made the cars a handful to drive which puts on a better show and the fact that we are not crashing them once we are sideways will lead towards a better 500.

There's still a lot of car there and at any given time it's easy to make a mistake, so we're just going to have to be on our toes as drivers and to make sure that we don't cause the big one and wipe out half the field."

ON GOING FOR HIS THIRD CONSECUTIVE SPRINT CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP: "As long as I finish the year and I know that I've given 100 percent and my team has, we'll be fine with the outcome. And I think the last few years have shown that if we do that, we're going to be in the hunt. There is no telling how luck is going to come or go or what situations you're going to be in that are going to take place or if someone is going to go on a tear -- similar to what we did last year. Those things we can't predict or understand. But if we leave every race track knowing we gave our all and we got beat, we can live with that. But if we make mistakes and don't feel like we've done what we can, then we'll be disappointed."

Race Notes

Chassis

* Team Lowe's Racing will race chassis 48474 in Sunday's Daytona 500. This car's first laps of competition will come Thursday in the qualifying race.

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson