Phoenix II: Jimmie Johnson preview

Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe's Racing travel to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday's Sprint Cup event, the ninth of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. With two races remaining, Johnson leads Carl Edwards by 106 points in ...

Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe's Racing travel to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday's Sprint Cup event, the ninth of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

With two races remaining, Johnson leads Carl Edwards by 106 points in the Championship standings and is heading to a track on which he has had great success.

Johnson won the last two races at Phoenix's one-mile flat track and has accumulated more points than any other driver there over the past ten events. He has completed every lap of the 10 races that he's started there and has only finished outside the top-7 twice, in the fall of 2002 and spring of 2005.

Johnson on The Tonight Show

Back-to-back Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson is scheduled to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Thursday, Nov. 6. The show airs at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

Certainly there's no panic on your team right now, but do you feel that there's suddenly a race? "There's been a race the whole time. You just never know what's going to happen. There are still 400 miles at Homestead and 300 at Phoenix. A lot can happen. Even at 183 points over Carl, I wasn't comfortable. I mean, I think its 161 points you can get in a weekend. If I stuffed it in the fence the first run, I finish 43rd, they're right there. It's a race of 20 or 30 points at that point.

"The comfort margin has closed up even more. So it's still a race. We have to go to Phoenix. My goal is to outrun those guys. My goal's to win the race, try to lead the most laps, gain points on those guys so that we go to Homestead with as many points as we can. That's truthfully the goal. I hope it works that way. No telling it will. But that's what we're working on."

No matter how bad the day is, you seem to always still finish in the top 20 and make it a decent day. What does that say about your team? "This team is great at trying to come back. We never quit. I think that really pays off. At the end of races we make our car better. We had to do that again at Texas. It wasn't the performance we hoped for, but we did what we could and we finished okay."

RACE NOTES

Phoenix International Raceway

* Johnson has made 10 Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway in his career, earning two wins, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes.

* The back-to-back champion has completed 100% (3123 of 3123) of competition laps during those races and has led 288.

* He has an average start and finish of 12.4 and 6.0.

Chassis

* Johnson will pilot chassis No. 520 in Sunday's race. He has driven that car to two wins this season, at Martinsville Speedway in October and at Richmond International Raceway in September.

* Johnson drove his backup chassis, No. 424, to Victory Lane in the Spring event at Phoenix.

Primary Car History -- Chassis No. 520
Backup Car History -- Chassis No. 424

-credit: hm

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Carl Edwards , Jay Leno