Loudon II: Jimmie Johnson preview

Team Lowe's goes for the sweep at 'The Magic Mile' Johnson gaining in tight points battle, hopes to continue trend at New Hampshire LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 9, 2003) - Prior to Team Lowe's last race at New Hampshire International Speedway, it was not...

Team Lowe's goes for the sweep at 'The Magic Mile'
Johnson gaining in tight points battle, hopes to continue trend at New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 9, 2003) - Prior to Team Lowe's last race at New Hampshire International Speedway, it was not one of driver Jimmie Johnson's favorite racetracks. But now if you asked him what his favorite track is, you probably would hear, "New Hampshire; it's always your last win."

As he did at Dover last season, Johnson will look to sweep the events at New Hampshire International Speedway when he competes in this weekend's Sylvania 300. It will not be easy - no Winston Cup driver has swept both races at New Hampshire since Winston Cup racing began there in 1993.

Jimmie Johnson quotes

ARE YOU EXCITED TO RETURN TO NEW HAMSPHIRE?

"I'm really looking forward to going back to New Hampshire. In our three races there, we've been all over the board as far as performance. Flat racetracks like New Hampshire haven't always been a strength for us. Last race we were able to come home with the victory by having a strong race car, good strategy and solid pit stops. I didn't think we'd win on a flat track so early on in my career. Flat tracks don't fit my style, but maybe I'm getting a better feel for them."

IS THERE PRESSURE TO PRODUCE ANOTHER WIN AT NHIS?

"The only pressure we feel is from ourselves. We want to be competitive each race, stay on the lead lap and finish in the top-10 each week. Those are our main goals for each event. Yes, there is more pressure from outside sources when you go back to a track that you've won on, but really, that is other people trying to put pressure on us. Team Lowe's just needs to set its own pace. As we are seeing this season, the points system rewards consistency over 36 races, so we need to keep that in mind and not push too hard and force ourselves into mistakes. We did that a little toward the end of last season. This year, we know what to expect from being in a tight race and know how to better conduct ourselves. You only get that by experience."

NO DRIVER HAS EVER SWEPT THE SEASON RACES AT NHIS. DO YOU THINK YOU CAN BE THE FIRST?

"There is a reason no one has ever done it. The two races there are pretty different in conditions, so teams just can't go back there with the same set-ups and expect to run exactly the same. With that said, Team Lowe's has shown that it can win at NHIS, so yes, we are capable of winning there again. It's very tough to win twice in any season on one track, but we were able to do it in Dover last year and now we are hoping to be able to do it at NHIS."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE TRACK SURFACE?

"I think they've done a good job of providing us with a better racing surface. In the spring race you saw a lot more side-by-side racing and more passes than in the past. As the track ages, hopefully it will become even better and offer the teams more opportunities with set-ups and passing. With that, the fans will see a better show."

Jimmie Johnson Fast Facts

Johnson ranks fourth in the Winston Cup Series championship standings, 60 points out of third and 83 points out of second.

Johnson has two wins (Lowe's Motor Speedway and New Hampshire International Speedway), seven top-five (Daytona - 3rd, Lowe's Motor Speedway - 1st, Chicagoland - 3rd, New Hampshire - 1st, Watkins Glen - 3rd, Bristol - 5th and Darlington - 3rd) and 11 top-10 finishes (Daytona - 3rd, Rockingham - 8th, Bristol - 8th, Texas - 8th, Martinsville - 9th, Lowe's Motor Speedway - 1st, Chicagoland - 3rd, New Hampshire - 1st, Watkins Glen - 4th, Bristol - 5th and Darlington - 3rd).

Johnson has led in 11 out of the 26 races this season (Daytona, Las Vegas, Talladega, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Dover, Pocono, Pepsi 400, Chicagoland, New Hampshire, Michigan and Darlington).

Johnson has been in the top 10 in NASCAR Winston Cup points for 59 consecutive weeks, the longest current streak in Winston Cup.

Johnson won his first pole position of 2003 at Pocono Raceway.

Johnson is only the seventh driver in history to win a race starting from 35th or worse.

Johnson has five career Winston Cup victories and five career Winston Cup pole positions

Johnson won The Winston all-star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway, taking home the largest purse in its 19-year history, $1 million.

New Hampshire Fast Facts

Since the first Winston Cup race at NHIS in 1993, no driver has swept the season races.

In two of the last four races, drivers that have started 31st have gone on to win (Ward Burton in the spring of '02 and Robby Gordon in the fall of 2001).

Five of the last seven Winston Cup winners at NHIS have started in the top 10.

Nine of the 17 Winston Cup races at NHIS were won by drivers who started in the top-10.

No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Fast Facts

Team Lowe's Racing will bring car 4847

This is the same Lowe's Chevy that Johnson drove to Victory Lane earlier this year at NHIS. Johnson also captured the 2002 fall Richmond pole with this Monte Carlo and raced it earlier this season to a ninth-place finish at Martinsville and 19th-place finish at Richmond.

Broadcast Schedule

Qualifying - Friday, Sept. 12 at 3:05 a.m. (ET) on TNT; 3:05 a.m. (ET) on MRN
Happy Hour - Saturday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. (ET) on SPEED
Race - Sunday, Sept. 14 at 12:30 p.m. (ET) on TNT; 12:30 p.m. (ET) on MRN

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Jimmie Johnson