Richmond II: Jimmie Johnson preview

Johnson looks for first top-10 at Richmond Richmond is one of only three tracks Johnson has not posted a career top-10 RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 3, 2003) - While Team Lowe's Racing driver Jimmie Johnson is not considered a short track specialist, he...

Johnson looks for first top-10 at Richmond
Richmond is one of only three tracks Johnson has not posted a career top-10

RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 3, 2003) - While Team Lowe's Racing driver Jimmie Johnson is not considered a short track specialist, he has shown signs of brilliance, particularly at Bristol with one top-five and three top-10 finishes in just four races.

At Martinsville, Johnson has enjoyed two solid performances in three events, with two top-10 finishes. So you would think that Richmond would yield similar results for Johnson and Team Lowe's, but it has been just the opposite.

While Johnson has one pole on the .75-mile track, he has yet to post a top-10 finish and has only one top-15 finish in three Richmond starts. At times, Team Lowe's has shown signs of its short track success, but only to see it end in the waning laps because of fuel mileage or an accident.

Team Lowe's will try to continue its strong qualifying runs at Richmond and hope that this time under the lights it can post its first top-10 finish.

Jimmie Johnson on racing at Richmond "I'm really looking forward to coming back to Richmond this weekend, where track position is so key. One of the hardest aspects of short track racing is the fact that the lead cars get on the tail end of the field so fast. You have two grooves at this track, so when you mix in the lap traffic, it makes for a long day trying to advance.

"We competed well in the spring before a late race accident cost us a top-10 finish and we sat on the pole last fall, running up front for much of the evening. I'm hoping that we can continue to build on our success there and contend for the pole and a top-10 finish."

Johnson on Richmond's lights "They're good. I've never noticed anything different or wrong with the lights there. Night racing is a lot better visually for us, period. The surface your racing on is lit up, so it's the only thing your eyes really have to look at. It seems like your vision is a lot better at any night race."

Jimmie Johnson Fast Facts

* Richmond is one of only three tracks that Johnson has not posted a top-10 finish on in his Winston Cup career. The others are Infineon and Phoenix.

* Johnson ranks fourth overall in the Winston Cup Series championship standings, 70 points out of third place and 96 points out of second.

* Johnson has two wins (Lowe's Motor Speedway and New Hampshire International Speedway), seven top-five (Daytona - 3rd, Lowe's Motor Speedway - 1st, Chicagoland - 3rd, New Hampshire - 1st, Watkins Glen - 3rd, Bristol - 5th and Darlington - 3rd) and 11 top-10 finishes (Daytona - 3rd, Rockingham - 8th, Bristol - 8th, Texas - 8th, Martinsville - 9th, Lowe's Motor Speedway - 1st, Chicagoland - 3rd, New Hampshire - 1st, Watkins Glen - 4th, Bristol - 5th and Darlington - 3rd).

* Johnson has led in 11 out of the 25 races this season (Daytona, Las Vegas, Talladega, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Dover, Pocono, Pepsi 400, Chicagoland, New Hampshire, Michigan and Darlington).

* Johnson has been in the top-10 in NASCAR Winston Cup points for 58 consecutive weeks, the longest current streak in Winston Cup.

* Johnson won his first pole position of 2003 at Pocono Raceway.

* Johnson is only the seventh driver in history to win a race starting from 35th or worse.

* Johnson has five career Winston Cup victories and five career Winston Cup pole positions.

* 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 Richmond International Raceway

* In Winston Cup, 12th is his average qualifying position and 21st is his average finishing position.

* Pontiac Excitement 400 - 2003 (spring): started 10th and finished 19th

* Pontiac Excitement 400 - 2002 (spring): started 26th and finished 31st

* Chevy Monte Carlo 400 - 2002 (fall): started 1st and finished 13th

Chassis No. 4847

* This is the same Lowe's Chevy that Johnson drove to the pole position in 2002 and raced with at Richmond the past two seasons.

* Johnson also uses this Chevy at Martinsville, where he has posted two top-10 finishes in three races.

* In six short track races with this Lowe's Chevy, Johnson has qualified in the top-10 five times including one pole (Richmond 2002 fall race).

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson