Johnson planning for constructive run at "The Brickyard" Rookie hopes to nail his first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 30, 2002) - Rookie driver Jimmie Johnson is looking forward to this weekend's NASCAR Winston...
Johnson planning for constructive run at "The Brickyard"
Rookie hopes to nail his first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 30, 2002) - Rookie driver Jimmie Johnson is looking forward to this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup race, the Brickyard 400, at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sunday's race will mark the first time that Johnson will race at "The Brickyard" and only the third time he has ever step foot on the track. Johnson enters this weekend's race third in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship standings, only 38 points out of second place, and first in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year competition.
Jimmie Johnson on his first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
"This is going to be my first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During testing it was pretty neat pulling out onto the racetrack after watching so many races on television being run here as a kid. The track is so narrow and so fast, you're almost in the tunnel going down the front stretch heading into turn one. It took me a little bit of time to get use to it during our testing session earlier this month, I was able to get valuable seat time and able to pick up on the nuances of the track pretty well. The Lowe's team is looking forward to a strong and competitive run on Sunday. From the test session, track position is going to play a key role in the race, so qualifying well will be a key for us on Saturday.
"I purposely didn't walk out of the tunnel and onto the racetrack while we were there in testing. I want to wait until we walk out for qualifying and experience it the way that I've seen it on television for so many years. I've grown up wanting to race there and I have this vision in my mind of what it will be like to walk out there for the first time. I just want to wait until I'm actually going to race to do it. I'm sure it will be an awesome experience."
Chad Knaus on Indianapolis Motor Speedway
"Indy is a very tough racetrack to run on. It is very flat and very fast with four distinctively different corners. Many people think the racetrack is symmetrical, but it isn't. Aerodynamics and drag is a big deal with the long straight-aways. The track is brutal on handling. You have to get through turns two and four really well to carry your speed down the straight-aways.
"They (the speedway) just ground the track to give it more grip, so it's going to kind of be a one-groove track. Indy's challenges are similar to the challenges we faced at Pocono Raceway last weekend. Don't be surprised to see the same teams at the top of the practice and qualifying charts at Indy as you did at Pocono."
Jimmie Johnson Fast Facts
* Ranks third in the Winston Cup Series championship standings
* Leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year competition by 13 points
* Has won two NASCAR Winston Cup races this season (California and Dover)
* Is tied for the fastest modern day driver to reach two wins
* Has two wins, five top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 20 races
* Has been the highest finishing rookie 11 times this season
* The 12 top-10 finishes are tied for second most in the Winston Cup Series (Las Vegas - 6th, Atlanta - 3rd, Darlington - 6th, Bristol - 7th, Texas - 6th, Talladega - 7th, California - 1st, Lowe's Motor Speedway - 7th, Dover - 1st, Pocono - 3rd, Daytona (Pepsi 400) - 8th and Chicagoland - 4th)
* Has three Bud Pole positions this season, second most in NASCAR Winston Cup - , Daytona, Talladega and Lowe's Motor Speedway
* Only the third rookie in history to win the Daytona 500 pole
* Only the second rookie in history to win a pole at Talladega Superspeedway
* Holds the NWC qualifying record at Lowe's Motor Speedway
* Has led eight Winston Cup Series races this season (Las Vegas, Talladega, California, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Dover, Michigan, Chicago and Pocono)
* Won his first Winston Cup race of his career at California Speedway, his home racetrack
* Won the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series event at Chicagoland Speedway in 2001
Jimmie Johnson at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
* This will be Johnson's first race at "The Brickyard"
No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Fast Facts
* Team Lowe's Racing will bring car 4868
* This is the same Lowe's Monte Carlo that Johnson won the first two segments of this year's "The Winston" with and finished fifth overall.