Pocono: Jimmie Johnson preview

After a two-day test session at Pocono Raceway last week, Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe's Racing will head to the 2.5-mile tri-oval looking for a win in Sunday's Sprint Cup event. In 12 starts at Pocono, Johnson has collected two wins and seven...

After a two-day test session at Pocono Raceway last week, Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe's Racing will head to the 2.5-mile tri-oval looking for a win in Sunday's Sprint Cup event.

In 12 starts at Pocono, Johnson has collected two wins and seven top-10 finishes. His No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS ranked in the top 10 in each of the three test sessions last Monday and Tuesday.

PRELUDE TO THE DREAM:

Johnson will be participating in the fourth-annual Prelude to the Dream dirt race on Wed., June 4 at Eldora Speedway. This will be Johnson's debut in the charity fundraiser. His No. 48 car, owned by Clint Bowyer, will carry a Jimmie Johnson Foundation paint scheme.

The last time Johnson was on dirt was in 2001 when he hot lapped and qualified a late-model series car at Texas Motor Speedway before giving up his seat to the team owner, who had wrecked his machine and was racing for points.

Prior to that appearance, Johnson hadn't been on dirt since 1997, when he was in the CORR Championship Winter Series and won the Pro-2 Class in a Chevy truck. He also finished second in the standings in the Short Course Off-Road Drivers Association Series (SODA) that season.

JIMMIE JOHNSON POCONO/ELDORA QUOTES:

YOU'LL BE GOING FROM A DIRT TRACK TO A THREE-CORNER TRACK AT POCONO. HOW WAS YOUR TEST THERE? "We tested really, really good at Pocono. I'd say we were right there on pace with the best cars if not the best car. I'm very excited to go back. Last weekend we didn't have the finish that we wanted. We practiced really well and qualified well, and just missed a little something in the race. But we're getting closer and it's really nice to see all this hard work pay off that the team has been putting into it. We've spent a lot of hours testing and put in a lot of hard work. I really look forward to the race and know that we're going to be able to show that."

HOW MUCH DIFFERENT WILL THE NEW RACE CAR BE AT POCONO COMPARED TO THE OLD CAR? THE POCONO TRACK IS SOMEWHAT LIKE A ROAD COURSE, SO HOW MUCH OF THAT APPLIES WITH THE NEW CAR? "The cars have plenty of speed. I want to say that a large part of that is because of the low downforce package. And we are really able to fly down the straight-aways. I didn't run in traffic, so I'm not really sure how the racing is going to be. But they put in some type of asphalt patch, I don't know what type of work that was or if they just needed to replace the asphalt in that one area through Turn 3, and it created another lane over in Turn 3 now. So I think a lot of us enjoyed the test and enjoyed Pocono because we had something new to mess with once we got over to Turn 3. I don't know what to expect. Speeds were awfully fast for a test session for the car of tomorrow. So we'll just have to see what happens for right now."

TALK ABOUT RACING IN ELDORA AND YOUR OFF-ROAD CAREER: "I'm obviously excited to go to Eldora. I've heard so much about the track. And I'm excited to be in a dirt car. It's been a long, long time since I've been on the dirt. I think it was in 2000 I was in a dirt car for a few hot laps (in Texas) maybe it was 2001, and before that, I spent a long time on the off-road racing circuit racing different off-road trucks and buggies in the desert and in the stadiums. So I have a dirt background, but in a much different vehicle and I'm looking forward to being with everyone and spending some time on the dirt and helping Tony (Stewart) raise some money for the (Victory Junction Gang) Camp."

YOU CAR OWNER AT ELDORA IS CLINT BOWYER. HAVE YOU GIVEN HIM ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO SET THE CAR UP FOR YOU?: "No, I don't know much about these cars. Clint originally built me a new car and then thankfully he came to his senses and realized he shouldn't take me there in a brand new car and he is now taking me there in a car that Shannon Babbs has won in a few times. I'm not sure what's he's thinking, but he's putting me in great equipment and I'm really looking forward to getting out there and running some laps. I know I'm going to have fun with Clint. Bottom line is that we're going to have a lot of laughs, and we'll have a great time."

Chassis

* Brand new chassis No. 504 will be used in this weekend's Sprint Cup event. Team Lowe's Racing took the chassis to the NASCAR-sanctioned test session at Pocono raceway last week. Chassis No. 480 will be used as a backup.

Backup Car History -- Chassis No. 480

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Clint Bowyer