Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson preview

* Johnson has made 16 Sprint Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway where he has earned one win, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes. * Johnson has completed 98.9% (2721 of 2751) of competition laps at the 2.5-mile track and has...

* Johnson has made 16 Sprint Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway where he has earned one win, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes.

* Johnson has completed 98.9% (2721 of 2751) of competition laps at the 2.5-mile track and has led 59.

* He has an average start and finish of 9.5 and 14.2.

* Johnson will pilot brand new chassis No. 574 in Sunday's season-opening event.

* Johnson drove backup chassis No. 547 in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout. The car has only been driven one other time -- to a runner-up finish at Daytona International Speedway last July.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

This year the media said Jimmie Johnson is the guy to beat. Finally getting your due respect. Do you ever go into a season thinking, "Okay, this guy or these couple of guys are the ones that we've got to compete against and will give us the most trouble?" "We do. And in the past it was real easy to understand who that was going to be out of the gate. But with no testing, we don't have a clue. By now in the past, we've been to Daytona, we've been to California, we've been to Vegas. We knew if we were ahead, behind. We knew who was ahead or behind. Right now we have no idea.

"We've been working on things off the racetrack with some programs, seven-post, wind tunnel, chassis dynos, engine dynos. We think we've done all the right things, but in 2008, we thought we did all the right things and started the season and we were terrible. So we don't know who that is going to be. All right now we can focus on is making sure we're buttoned up and ready and get to California and see where we are."

What would a second Daytona WIN DO for your own legacy? For me the second win is probably the toughest thing. To count on people helping you, and no one really wants to help me right now, to have so many factors needed to win. You just can't put your head down and look out the windshield and focus on a good-handling racecar to drive away from people. It takes everything around you and people around you to create the opportunities.

"To win a plate race is a pretty big feat in itself. The 500 was amazing for us and really helped us mature as a race team and grow so that we could win that first championship."

-source: hm

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson