JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO, had another stellar performance in the Winston Cup Series, placing third in today's Pocono 500 as first rookie and first Chevrolet Monte Carlo driver. ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED? "I'm not ...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO, had another stellar performance in the Winston Cup Series, placing third in today's Pocono 500 as first rookie and first Chevrolet Monte Carlo driver.
ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED? "I'm not disappointed by any means. To be this competitive at this place, or to be as competitive as we have been everywhere, it's just been amazing to me. And to be here at this track and run in the top five all day long, like we did, is a great accomplishment. I don't think I've really been to a track that's more mentally taxing than here, with the upshifts and downshifts. It's easy to make laps, but downshifting and staying off the brake and not slowing the car down too much and carry speed through the center is the key. And it's hard here when you're downshifting because you're making sure you get the car whoa'd down downshifting in a straight line. It's just a very mentally taxing track. I had a blast, great to finish third. It's just a great day for the Lowe's team."
HOW DO YOU LEARN A TRACK LIKE POCONO, WHICH IS A CHALLENGING PLACE? "We tested up here on our way to Dover and ran a lot of laps the first day. The second day we worked on qualifying runs, so luckily when we entered Happy Hour yesterday I knew the rhythm of the race track and we were just fine-tuning the car. And, in the beginning of the race I was real loose and I just didn't think I needed to be overdriving the car. Just drive and get what I could get; this race is really long, and at the end we still weren't right through turn 3; we were decent everywhere else. It seemed like the top four or five cars all day long were extremely equal and I think that's what NASCAR would like to see, and I believe it was a great race all day."
JEFF GORDON IS MULTI-RACE WINNER HERE, DID HE OFFER YOU ANY SAGE ADVICE? "Before we came up and tested we talked about everything and different gear ratios and shifting points, how to get through the corners. But they (Hendrick Motorsports) haven't been up here in a long time, the 24 car really, (or) anyone at Hendrick has, so it was very good for us to come up and get some data on the race track. Last time they were here was before they even had data acquisition for the cars. We went home and learned a lot as an entire organization, but I definitely picked up pointers from Jeff before I came."
DID THE WATER SEEPAGE PROBLEMS EARLIER THIS WEEKEND AFFECT TODAY'S RACE? "The track was fine. I wouldn't know any better; (it's my) first time here."