Martinsville II: Johnson Saturday practice quotes

Jimmie Johnson quotes from Saturday practice Martinsville Speedway Jimmie Johnson -- ...

Jimmie Johnson quotes from Saturday practice
Martinsville Speedway

Jimmie Johnson -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet

RE: ATLANTA
Out test went well for us at Atlanta. We went down for a day and it was a little bit warmer than we would have expected to be, so I feel if the car will drive good in the hot conditions, it will be better in the cooler conditions. There was a lot of rubber down, so I feel it was a well-used test for us. It's a rarity where-in turns 1 and 2-the groove all the way to the wall was worked in. The #8 car was down there and worked it in and spent a lot of time and got it worked in at the top and we were actually able to run a race line there which is pretty unusual for testing at Atlanta.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARNED THERE?
Really, things change so much during the season and the first race is so early during the season, there's been a lot of things that have come along since then. Just to go down and rebaseline and find out what that track wants and the track, as it ages, it's much more difficult to get a hold on. In some ways it reminds me of Darlington-how hard it is on the tires. The way you have to be driving the car. I think those things are going to help the #48 team.

RE: TIRE WEAR AT ATLANTA
Well, we definitely had tire wear which is different from what we had at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The tire wouldn't wear (at Lowe's), held all the heat and we had problems. We were wearing tires down pretty fast there at Atlanta, which is a good thing. You back off, manage your car, manage your tires and I think it promotes better racing. Hopefully-I'm hoping-that there aren't any changes since we've been down there testing on that tire but I haven't seen any big issues.

HOW DID PRACTICE GO TODAY?
Everything's good. We've got a good driving car and we'll see what happens tomorrow.

IS IT HARD TO PRACTICE ON A DAY LIKE THIS WITH THE WEATHER, GIVEN THAT IT MIGHT BE DIFFERENT TOMORROW?
No, I don't even look at the weather report anymore. It always seems to be wrong. I know that we've got enough notes and history to make enough adjustments if the sun does come out. But, really, any more it seems that you have to adjust for whatever that day off was. It usually carries over. If it gets warmer.the whole pace seems to slow down a bit. It's not really a big handling issue.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT TEXAS FORTHCOMING?
We tested there a month or so ago. It was pretty early in the scheme of things but we had a good test. We've been really working hard on the mile-and-a-half stuff and making the cars better. Our Atlanta test went well so I think we're working in the right direction.

It's a mile-and-a-half, so the aero stuff is important. But, it's a little different mile-and-a-half than the other tracks that we run on. The entry to the turns is pretty difficult to get it right. The transitions are pretty abrupt and it seems like you have a hard time getting the front end of the car to stay on the track getting through the corners. So, we went there and worked on that and hopefully we can come back and everything's right.

OUT OF THE TRACKS STILL ON THE SCHEDULE IN 2005, WHICH DO YOU FEEL WILL BE YOUR STRONGEST?
I really look forward to all of them. I think the one question mark is Phoenix. The rest of the tracks-I feel good at all of them. I think that we've got a chance of winning or running in the top five.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson