Jimmie Johnson ...
#48 Lowe's Chevrolet
PRESS CONFERENCE EXCERPTS
Yeah, as far as qualifying is concerned, I just made it back without making a mistake. And when I finished my lap, I knew that I may have been a bit conservative in some areas, but they were in areas where I blew it last year. And last year really proved it to me that I have the ability on a road course race. I started in the back, made my way up front and I made my way up front. So, I had to come from 30th twice on a short race on this track, and this time coming back I told myself, don't let this track play games on you. Just drive this track, get a lap in and see where you end up. I just got a good, smooth lap in and almost got the pole. So, I'm very pleased. I was hoping for a top 10 or top 15, so to be second. It's gravy from 15th on up in my eyes. When you do get so close to the pole, I may have done something different out there. But, to be second out there to Jeff Gordon on a road course, anybody would give to have that.
YOU PREPARED THIS WEEK AT BONDURANT. TELL US ABOUT THAT
It didn't do anything. I would tell every other driver to stay home and never go (laughs).
DO YOU AND JEFF SHARE INFORMATION AND HOW MUCH HAS THAT HELPED YOU?
What has gone on in the last four years of racing at Hendrick Motorsports, all four teams have had the same equipment. There's been one guys winning races and winning poles, and that's Jeff. I put a lot of that in Jeff's hands. And I bring my car identically set up to his, and until I am out running them, we don't change anything. And that's just me trying to figure out how he gets around these race tracks. It's been my approach since I started at Hendrick, that I wanted Jeff's setups on the ovals, road course, everywhere. And until I outrun him, we're really not going to adjust anything. That's the way it is. Jeff's a very talented driver. The Roush guys are very talented. You know, the other part of it is being able to get the most out of your equipment and then being able to communicate to your team to get the car to the next level. That's something that Jeff can do very well and give Robbie good feedback and also lead Robbie in the right direction, to give the car more grip and a better balance so he can go faster.
WHAT WAS THE FEELING WHEN YOU WATCHED JEFF TAKE HIS LAP?
When he got into the esses going down the hill, I got the feeling inside that it was a Jeff Gordon day. You know, and I was prepared for that. I was really hoping to be in the top 10 or top 15. I am very happy to be where I am. You have no idea how excited I am just to see. I just wanted to see the front, let alone start from the front, so I am very, very happy.