Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson preview

Martinsville a mixed bag for Team Lowe's. Johnson hopes to repeat his spring 2003 showing and avoid a repeat of the fall race. Jimmie Johnson on seeing the replay of Dale JR's pass at Talladega "I haven't seen a replay. We left the track and...

Martinsville a mixed bag for Team Lowe's.
Johnson hopes to repeat his spring 2003 showing and avoid a repeat of the fall race.

Jimmie Johnson on seeing the replay of Dale JR's pass at Talladega

"I haven't seen a replay. We left the track and we've been gone and I have not seen it yet. There's been a lot of discussion and talk about it, but I haven't seen any statements released by NASCAR or anyone involved. So, I don't know."

Johnson on what is his definition of a completed pass

"That's what has been the hard thing to understand. If you're forced below the yellow line, you just need to clear yourself, roll out of the gas and let that car move back past you so you can start all over again. All you've got to do is clear yourself of that car you're trying to pass. That's the way I look at it. If I'm forced down below, I'm not going to take the risk to be penalized because it's such a severe penalty on a superspeedway."

Johnson on whether or not last weekend's race will resonate in his emotions this weekend

"Well, you can look at it in a couple of ways. Of course you wish that you'd won the race, but we could have been running 35th all day and not even had a taste of winning the race. Bottom line, you always have a complaint if you don't win."

Johnson on if different driving skills are needed at Martinsville as opposed to other tracks

"Martinsville is a unique animal. In general, flat race tracks are very difficult to drive and take a lot of patience. You have to be very smooth - especially at Martinsville with as slippery and tight as it is. The second race there last year, I was able to find the rhythm that I needed and we were very competitive. I'm really looking forward to going back."

Johnson on keys to success at Martinsville

"At Martinsville, we use up everything in every department. It's a hard braking track. It's hard on tires, hard on engines and hard on the side of the car. Often, you run out of room and run into the wall. It seems like I always run into the wall there off of Turn 4. You just run out of race track - even off Turn 2. You have to be smooth on your brakes and take care of your tires in the corner and when exiting the turn. You can spin the rear tires easily at Martinsville, so you've got to manage your tires, plus keep your racecar in one piece."

Jimmie Johnson Fast Facts
* Ranks fourth in the Winston Cup Series championship standings, 220 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.
* Has four top-10 finishes (Daytona - 3rd, Rockingham -8th, Bristol - 8th, Texas - 8th)
* On short tracks, Johnson has one career pole (Richmond - fall '02).
* Has been ranked in the top 10 for 41 consecutive weeks.
* One of only three drivers to be ranked in the top 10 every week this season.

Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville Speedway
* In the Winston Cup Series, 10th is his average starting position and 21st is his average finishing position.
     o Virginia 500 (spring) - 2002: started 14th and finished 37th
     o Old Dominion 500 (fall) - 2002: started 7th and finished 6th

No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Fast Facts
* Team Lowe's Racing will bring car 4847
* This is the same Lowe's Monte Carlo that Johnson drove in both races last season in Martinsville. It is also the Chevy that he raced in both Richmond races, including the fall Richmond race were he took the pole.

Broadcast Schedule
* Qualifying - Friday, April 11 at 3 p.m. (ET) on SPEED; 3 p.m. (ET) on MRN
* Happy Hour - Saturday, April 12 at 7 p.m. (ET) on FX (Taped Delay)
* Race - Sunday, April 13 at 12:30 p.m. (ET) on FOX; 12:30 p.m. (ET) on MRN

-hm/lowe's-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson