Dover: Jimmie Johnson preview

Johnson looks to continue his win streak in NWC and at Dover DOVER, Del. (May 28, 2003) - What can Team Lowe's Racing and driver Jimmie Johnson do for an encore after Johnson became only the fifth driver in history to complete the May sweep at...

Johnson looks to continue his win streak in NWC and at Dover

DOVER, Del. (May 28, 2003) - What can Team Lowe's Racing and driver Jimmie Johnson do for an encore after Johnson became only the fifth driver in history to complete the May sweep at Lowe's Motor Speedway? The answer - become only the fourth driver in history to win three consecutive races at Dover International Speedway, site of this Sunday's race.

Last season, Johnson became the first rookie in the modern era to sweep races at any track. The two wins at Dover, coupled with his victory at California Speedway, gave him three for the year, tying him for the modern day rookie record for wins. Johnson and his Team Lowe's teammates are looking forward to this weekend and the chance to extend its winning streak at Dover and its string of NWC race wins.

Jimmie Johnson on describing a lap around Dover

"Dover is a concrete race track with a lot of banking. It has really severe transitions from the straightaways into the corners that make the track probably one of the most challenging ones we race on. Both ends of the racetracks are very similar in the way that you drive them and the shape of them. It's a rhythm racetrack. If you pick up that certain rhythm and hit your marks, you're going to turn a good lap. The center of the corner is probably 20 feet below the elevation of the straightaway causing you drop off, kind of like a roller coaster ride, down into the center of the corner. You start to make the corner, and then as you come up onto the straightaway, you climb back up that hill onto the straightaway. So it makes for an interesting lap."

Johnson on the importance of spotters at Dover

"They're important everywhere. At Dover, when somebody spins out, they come back down the track, even on the straightaways. So it takes some experience on the spotters' part to know what's going to happen with wrecks. In some respects, it's a one-groove racetrack early in the race. It takes a spotter who knows the give-and-take game to give you a head's up that somebody is getting impatient behind you. Spotters are very important and it's important to have one that you trust and believe and share the same style with. I'm very lucky to have one of the best."

Johnson on the difference between running concrete and asphalt tracks

"It makes a big difference. When you initially turn the wheel, the response you have is a lot more positive on concrete than it is on asphalt. Also, the way the asphalt is laid is much different than concrete. Concrete is basically poured in squares. You can feel all the seams just like you would on a concrete section of the Interstate. You can hear your tires making that repetitive noise as you cross each seam. That's the same way it is in a race car - but our cars are so much more sensitive to those seams and cracks that it really bounces the car around."

Johnson on his experience at Dover helping to make a championship push

"I think so. Every team looks at the calendar and hopes that the tracks they ran well at previously will be the same ones that they can be contenders on again. We knew that Lowe's Motor Speedway was one of those tracks that we knew we would hopefully get some good points. With the success we've had at Dover, we have that same mindset. One thing we're trying not to do it to get too caught up in the pressures of repeating the wins and all that. So, we're going to go up there and do what we can. Every week, we've been competing in the top five and hopefully at Dover we'll still have the magic there and be able to pull into Victory Lane again."

-hm/lowe's-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson