DOVER, Del. - Jimmie Johnson's double-header in Charlotte is just the beginning of the No. 48 Hendrick Chevy team's assault to rise out of their sophomore slump. Johnson, who won a cool million in NASCAR's All-Star event The Winston and took home...
DOVER, Del. - Jimmie Johnson's double-header in Charlotte is just the beginning of the No. 48 Hendrick Chevy team's assault to rise out of their sophomore slump. Johnson, who won a cool million in NASCAR's All-Star event The Winston and took home the trophy after the rain shortened Coca-Cola 600; has an impressive record at Dover.
In two starts, Johnson has two wins, leading over 350 laps in those two events. The domination at Dover last season made him the only rookie in the modern era to sweep races at any track on the circuit.
Despite bad luck this season, Johnson has managed to salvage six top-ten finishes and maintain his 46 consecutive week run in the top ten of Winston Cup rankings. Currently, Johnson sits fifth, 247 points from leader Matt Kenseth.
Johnson looks forward to extending not only his good fortune on Sunday at the one-mile oval, but also his points position.
"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," said Johnson. "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."
If Johnson hopes to be victorious, he will have to fend off teammate and co-car owner Jeff Gordon. Gordon, who has four wins at the 'monster mile', has another reason to search for his second win of the season this weekend; title sponsor DuPont's headquarters are located nearby.
"They have momentum on their side with two wins in the last two weeks at Charlotte," said Gordon. "Plus they're undefeated here, having won both races in their rookie season. I'm sure their confidence is sky-high right now.
"Our DuPont team usually arrives here pretty confident, too. We've had a lot of success here and have led a lot of laps, which is always good to do in DuPont's backyard in front of their customers and employees."
Gordon should be a tough competitor for friend and teammate Johnson Sunday, in twenty starts he has two poles, nine top-fives, thirteen top-tens, and has led 2,048 laps.
"There is no easy way around this place," said Gordon. "It's much easier when you can race the track as the leader instead of racing the track in the middle of 10 cars battling for position. Out front is definitely where you want to be during this race."