Daytona Twin 125: Jimmie Johnson preview

This time it matters: Gatorade Twin 125's will factor into where Team Lowe's starts on Sunday. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2003) - Unlike last season, the Gatorade Twin 125s will play a role in where Team Lowe's Racing will start the 2003 ...

This time it matters:
Gatorade Twin 125's will factor into where Team Lowe's starts on Sunday.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2003) - Unlike last season, the Gatorade Twin 125s will play a role in where Team Lowe's Racing will start the 2003 Daytona 500. Driver Jimmie Johnson posted the 16th fastest qualifying time last Monday, which places him eighth in the starting grid for the second Gatorade 125 on Thursday.

Johnson started from the pole in the first 125-qualifier in 2002, but the outcome of the race was not exactly what the Lowe's team had in mind. The No. 48 Lowe's Chevy was assessed a stop and go penalty by NASCAR officials when they ruled Johnson had improved his position while driving below the yellow line. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus felt discouraged by the ruling since Johnson was avoiding contact with the No. 33 driven by Mike Wallace, but still used the qualifier for a tune-up for the Great American Race.

Jimmie Johnson on Thursday's Gatorade Twin 125s
"Team Lowe's is really looking forward to the Gatorade 125. We had two strong practices on Wednesday, and Chad (Knaus) and the guys have done a great job of getting the Lowe's Chevy prepared to race. Thankfully, we are guaranteed a spot in the 500 on Sunday, so that takes a little pressure off of us for the 125, but we need to use this race to learn how this team is going to handle the race action. Plus, it gives me another opportunity to learn the draft."

Chad Knaus on Thursday's Gatorade Twin 125s
"I'm ready to get things think going. We were happy with our qualifying effort on Monday, but this time we are going to have to work our way into a solid starting position for the 500. The Gatorade 125 will give the team another opportunity to gel and give Jimmie some additional experience in the draft. We have a tough 125 with two DEI cars and two Gibbs race cars, but we have a great race car and one that we feel will be in contention at the end of the race."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Wallace , Jimmie Johnson , Chad Knaus