Pocono: Jimmie Johnson preview

Team Lowe's hoping to rebound at Pocono Johnson, Knaus hope to repeat spring performance at Pocono Raceway POCONO, Penn. (June 3, 2002) - Team Lowe's Racing will look to rebuild following last weekend's 38th-place finish at Dover International...

Team Lowe's hoping to rebound at Pocono

Johnson, Knaus hope to repeat spring performance at Pocono Raceway

POCONO, Penn. (June 3, 2002) - Team Lowe's Racing will look to rebuild following last weekend's 38th-place finish at Dover International Speedway. Driver Jimmie Johnson and the rest of Team Lowe's are eager to get back to work at Pocono Raceway, a track that Johnson has shown he can handle. Last season, Johnson qualified second in his first race at Pocono and followed that up with a third place finish. In the fall race, Johnson continued his hot hand at Pocono, qualifying seventh, but Team Lowe's was left wondering "what if" after rain wreaked havoc on its strategy, resulting in a 15th-place finish in the Pennsylvania 500.

This weekend Team Lowe's will bring the race car that won The Winston just a few weeks ago and the race car that it used in both races at the Long Pond facility. Johnson is confident that a repeat performance of last spring's race at Pocono is on the horizon.

Jimmie Johnson on Pocono Raceway "To me, Pocono is one of the more challenging racetracks on the circuit. It tests you in so many ways by demanding a lot out of the engine for speed on the straightaways and handling in the corners. You just hope that you can find that right balance that will allow you to hold your own.

"Last season Team Lowe's had a two-day test session at Pocono that was very beneficial for us. We were able to carry that success into the spring race and post a top five finish. Chad and the guys learned a lot about what type of spring and shock package we needed to be successful.

"The fall race was one that we felt got away from us. We had a solid qualifying effort with a seventh place starting position and that was coming off an average practice session, so we were really pleased with that. The weather played a major factor in the fall race, however. We got caught up with a loose Chevy and tried some pit strategy that didn't play out in our favor. After it was all said and done, the race was called early because of rain, and we left knowing we had a better than 15th-place race car."

Johnson on this season "This is a hard season to describe. I've said it a lot over the past few seasons and actually a lot last week - the Winston Cup season is filled with ups and downs and the teams that control or limit their spikes on either end, especially the low end, are the ones that are going to contend for the championship. For us right now we have a few spikes on the low end that have hurt us overall in the points standings, but to be seventh right now, still in contention for the championship, and to have a win under our belts is proof to ourselves that we still have what it takes to be a winner. I know you hear professional athletes say this a lot, but honestly, we can only control ourselves, so if we give 100 percent at the shop and at the racetrack, the rest will happen on its own - that's all we can ask from ourselves. This is a strong team that is still learning, but don't let that fool you, we still have a lot left in our tanks this season."

Jimmie Johnson Fast Facts * Johnson ranks seventh in the Winston Cup Series championship standings, 339 points behind leader Matt Kenseth. * Johnson led the fall race at Pocono last season for two laps. * Johnson has one top five out of two races at Pocono Raceway. * Johnson has two top-five finishes (Daytona - 3rd and Lowe's Motor Speedway - 1st) and six top-10 finishes (Daytona - 3rd, Rockingham - 8th, Bristol - 8th, Texas - 8th, Martinsville - 9th and Lowe's Motor Speedway - 1st). * Johnson led in five out of the 13 races this season (Daytona, Las Vegas, Talladega, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Dover) * Johnson has been in the top 10 in NASCAR Winston Cup points for 45 consecutive weeks, the longest current streak in Winston Cup. * Johnson won his first race of the 2003 season on his home track of Lowe's Motor Speedway for the 600. * Johnson has four career Winston Cup Victories, tying him for 63 on the all-time win list. * Johnson won The Winston all-star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway, taking home the largest purse in its 19-year history - $1 million.

Jimmie Johnson at Pocono Raceway * In Winston Cup, Johnson's average qualifying position is 4th and his average finishing position is 9th. * His Winston Cup record at Pocono Raceway is: * Pocono 500 - 2002: started 2nd and finished 3rd * Pennsylvania 500 - 2002: started 7th and finished 15th

No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Fast Facts * Team Lowe's Racing will bring Chevy 4866 * This is the same Lowe's Monte Carlo that Johnson drove to 3rd and 15th-place finishes at Pocono last season.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson