Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson preview

Team Lowe's Racing driver Jimmie Johnson and crew are looking to follow up on their 2007 Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) win as they visit the one-mile track for Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series event. In his nine previous starts at the West...

Team Lowe's Racing driver Jimmie Johnson and crew are looking to follow up on their 2007 Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) win as they visit the one-mile track for Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series event. In his nine previous starts at the West Coast oval, Johnson has turned in seven top-10 finishes, including his most recent Sprint Cup win, which came in November, 2007.

NOTEWORTHY:

Thursday night's NASCAR Camping World Series West race at Phoenix International Raceway will be named the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 150.

Two-time reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra will participate in pre-race ceremonies, and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation will host a special reception during the race in one of PIR's luxury suites.

Tickets for the reception have been donated to the Jimmie Johnson Foundation's partner program organizations, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Hendrick Marrow Program, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and Victory Junction Gang Camp, as well as PIR's charitable partner, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

ON SECOND-PLACE FINISH AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: "It was a good run for the Lowe's Impala SS throughout the day. I am just real proud of the effort the guys have put in. We've done a ton of testing trying to get things figured out and it really showed at Texas. We ran up front and the guys had great pit stops all day long. Hopefully that run is an indication of how far this team has come this year on the intermediate tracks and we can continue to have good finishes."

ON AN ENJOYMENT SCALE OF ONE TO 10, WHERE DOES PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY RANK? "PIR is great. I truly enjoy coming out. We catch great times of the year. We usually stay in Scottsdale and I was out there for the Super Bowl and a couple of different areas. I always enjoy it. It's a great location for us to race at. And I look forward to coming out each time. Let's say we highlight it on our calendars and get excited to come to Phoenix."

AS FAR AS THE TRACK ITSELF, HOW DOES PIR RANK? "The flat tracks are real tough for our cars to race at. (Turns) 1 and 2 have enough banking, where we sometimes get an outside lane. (Turns) 3 and 4 have had some creative lines develop lately, but we need more banking than what PIR offers to put on great, great racing. I think we've put on a good show. I think it's a little more single file than what the drivers would like. But the history of the track and shape of the track -- it's PIR. It is what it is. I'm not suggesting any big changes, but I think the days of progressive banked tracks and the shows that we've been able to put on on those tracks, is the direction that this new car is going to require us to go."

ON THURSDAY NIGHT'S JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION 150: "Chani and I are looking forward to Thursday night's Jimmie Johnson Foundation 150. It was especially nice of Bryan (Sperber) and the track to give us the opportunity to generate some awareness for the foundation and other worthy causes. It also looks like my brother Jarit is going to be running in the race as well so that just adds to an already great night."

-credit: hm

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson