Phoenix II: Jimmie Johnson preview

* Johnson has made 12 Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway where he has earned three wins, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. * The three-time champion has won three of the last four events at the one-mile track and has...

* Johnson has made 12 Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway where he has earned three wins, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.

* The three-time champion has won three of the last four events at the one-mile track and has six consecutive top-five finishes.

* Johnson has completed 100% (3748 of 3748) of competition laps at the track and has led 506.

* He has an average start and finish of 11.2 and 5.4.

Chassis

* Johnson will pilot chassis number 540 in Sunday's race in Phoenix. He last drove it to a runner-up finish at Martinsville Speedway in October.

* Backup chassis number 520 has won four of its five starts (Richmond, Fall 08, Martinsville Fall, 08, Phoenix, Fall 08 and Martinsville, Spring 09).

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

Considering that Hendrick Motorsports cars have won the last five Cup races in a row at PIR, does that previous success give you a little more comfort level going into that race in terms of the championship? "Yeah, I would say that looking at the schedule, the best track remaining for us would be PIR. We had a really fast car in the spring and had some different issues on pit road and some bad luck with the timing of the caution that kept us back in the pack, and still ended up with a reasonable finish but we passed a lot of cars, and in our opinion felt like we had the strongest car.

"So going back to Phoenix is exciting for us, and it's one of the tracks I was mentioning in my opening statements there that I feel we can get a victory at, and hopefully make some more cool things take place in the points.

"For me it's a great track but it's also a great track for Jeff. He runs very consistent there, and then Mark won in the spring. The two guys I'm trying to stay ahead of in the points have that track as a strong one, as well.

"At the end of the day I feel very confident. I feel very strong about the performance Hendrick Motorsports will have. I just hope it's the 48 car on top of the heap. "

It'll be the first use of the double wide restart rule at PIR. Do you think the inside or the outside line will be favorable, especially because a couple of years ago the wall in turn 2 was moved back a little bit to open it up? "The double file restarts will be interesting. The bottom will probably be the preferred line. I think in Turns 1 and 2 the outside will do a really good job of hanging on and can maintain down the back stretch. But in most cases the bottom of 3 and 4 is the preferred line, and we'll probably end up prevailing through the length of the race.

-credit: hm

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports