JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 36th in the race, ranks 2nd in points: DOES IT MATTER WHERE YOU FINISH IN THE POINTS GOING INTO THE CHASE? "You want those five (points). You want everything you can get. The ...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 36th in the race, ranks 2nd in points:
DOES IT MATTER WHERE YOU FINISH IN THE POINTS GOING INTO THE CHASE? "You want those five (points). You want everything you can get. The five points aren't that big in the scheme of things. It's just the stupidity that continues on the race track. It's the same people every week that's doing the same stuff. That upsets me more. I'm more worried about the potential loss in points in the final ten because of things like what took place tonight then I am on those five points. I hate losing the points lead but we're second and we'll go on to those final ten."
DOES IT CHANGE YOUR OPINION ON THE FINAL TEN AFTER PITFALLS LIKE THIS? "It worries me more. I don't know if it changes my thinking or strategy. I guess when I see guys trying to crash each other, I'll just pull over and know they're going to do it and lose five or six spots and save my race car. I guess that's all I could have done. I saw it coming. I got to the bottom lane and left myself a lot of room if something happened but unfortunately I just couldn't get stopped and turned around."
WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "I think we have a great chance. We got a lot of really good tracks coming up. With this new format, I think lady luck is going to be on your side to do it. I think one DNF and you're out of luck."
IS THERE ANYBODY WHO HAS MADE THE TOP TEN THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT? "Mark's (Martin) probably been one of the strong starts of late. Between Mark and Kasey Kahne and the 38, they've been pretty solid week in and week out. Kasey missed, Mark's in. Mark's got a lot of momentum on his side. Nothing again Kasey Kahne, but he was a sleeper in my eyes and if he made it in the final ten he was going to be a serious threat. I think Jeremy (Mayfield) is going to be a threat but Kasey has just had that consistent run. In the big picture, the 9 not being in there is good for the rest of us."
IS LOUDON A GREAT PLACE FOR YOU TO START? "Loudon is a great place for us. We tested there. We'll have a great race car. I think tonight showed that we got our flat track program back where it needs to be and we'll to Loudon."
EVEN THOUGH YOU KNEW YOU WERE IN IT, WERE YOU STRESSED AT ALL TONIGHT? "No, I wasn't stressed. I was just really disappointed in the end to see the same guy week causing other wrecks just like he does every single week. I'm more disappointed in that and I'm more worried about that going forward in those final ten and worried about this taking place to us again and losing a championship over somebody stupid doing the same thing week over week."
WILL YOU VOICE YOUR OPINION ON THIS BEFORE WE GET IN THE CHASE? "No one is going to listen to myself or to any other drivers. It's got to come down from NASCAR. I'm hopeful that going into this final ten that there's a pretty good long discussion in the drivers meeting. If anybody does cross the line, I hope NASCAR parks whoever it is for the rest of the season. Just put them out, done. In my opinion they should have done that tonight and it would have sent the message going into the final ten that you do not race like that. You use your head."
WOULD YOU TALK TO NASCAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE DONE? "You can go in and express your opinions and they're willing to listen to opinions. How they handle it, they got a lot of factors to worry about. On top of that, regardless of what they tell us and what they tell you in the drivers meeting, it doesn't mean that a driver is going to listen to that and do it. If they get upset and set off, they'll do whatever they want."
WHAT'S CROSSING THE LINE? "They tried for six or seven laps to wreck the 41. It started with the 88, then the 4 got in there and felt like he needed to do it as well. It was really obvious. I know they warned him before he wrecked him and caused a wreck. Nobody listened and he still did it and wrecked everybody."
HOW MANY TESTS DO YOU HAVE LEFT? DO YOU TEST THIS COMING WEEK? "We'll be in Talladega Monday. I know we're going to Homestead, Martinsville and Phoenix and we just tested New Hampshire."
ON THE 48 PULLING TOGETHER AGAINST ADVERSITY "The guys did a great job to turn the car around and get it out there. You get one shot at getting minimum speed with all the damage that we had. My guys got the thing put back to together. We got on the track and were able to pass enough cars to stay second in points. That's what it's going to take in this final ten, short format. You're going to have to be on top of your game and maybe even have to recover from some damage. This championship may be down to one point."