Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS met with members of the media and discussed his team being back together after the crew chief suspension, getting back on track for a successful season, racing at Michigan, the intensity of the racing...
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS met with members of the media and discussed his team being back together after the crew chief suspension, getting back on track for a successful season, racing at Michigan, the intensity of the racing heading into the Chase, Juan Pablo Montoya's racing style, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. joining Hendrick Motorsports, racing the Impala SS in the Chase, on not having Chad Knaus around, the weather here, racing at Bristol, being a spectator in racing and having a special '57 Chevy paint scheme for Sunday's race.
ON HAVING THE TEAM TOGETHER AFTER THE CREW CHIEF SUSPENSION: "We have the band back together so we're excited. It's been a long six weeks without him (Chad Knaus). We're very proud of the team and the effort that we've put out through all of it but there's no doubt that we've been less of a team without Knaus at the track and we're happy to have him back."
HOW MUCH MORE AGGRESSIVE AND INTENSE TO THE RACES GET TOWARDS THE CHASE? "They get more and more intense. A lot of it depends on where you are in the points. I think it's a relaxing period of time for the guys in the top five. Everybody near that 12th position in the points, it's pretty brutal right now getting ready for the Chase. Your whole season is based on getting in the Chase. So there's a lot of pressure in those areas right now."
DOES IT REALLY MATTER IF CHAD KNAUS IS NOT HERE ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY? YOU CAN STILL COMMUNICATE WITH HIM. "Without a doubt. We did a really good job without him being here but he's in a way, the decision-maker for the team. Not having the decision-maker there and having that responsibility fall on my shoulders or on Ron Malec's shoulders or Lance McGrew's, we kind of decided as a committee things that we wanted to do. But we're not in that position at all times. We did a good job with it but it's not our role, it's not what we do. So to have Chad back and him be the decision-maker, the guy that all things funnel and all information funnels into - and his job is to worry about that - will take the burden off of myself, off of the other guys and we can all focus on our independent jobs a lot more."
WHAT DOES THE '57 CHEVY PAINT SCHEME ON YOUR CAR THIS WEEKEND MEAN TO YOU? "I think it's a great program. I wish we could get some real wood on the side of the car. That would be a cool touch to it. Excited about it - I'm a fan of that period of time and I'm in the process of collecting different muscle cars now so I'm excited to be a part of the program."
WHAT KIND OF CARS? "I have a '69 Camaro and I just saw a '51 Chevy coupe that I fell in love with at a photo shoot the other day and I'm trying to acquire right now so we'll see how that goes."
-credit: gm racing