Talladega Superspeedway * Johnson has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega Superspeedway where he has earned one win, four top-five and six top-10 finishes. * Johnson has completed 95.5% (2707 of 2834) of competition laps at ...
* Johnson has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega Superspeedway where he has earned one win, four top-five and six top-10 finishes.
* Johnson has completed 95.5% (2707 of 2834) of competition laps at the 2.66-mile track and has led 192.
* He has an average start and finish of 10.9 and 17.7.
* Johnson last drove primary chassis number 482 at Daytona International Speedway in February, where inclement weather forced the event to end early, leaving Johnson with a 31st-place result.
* Johnson finished second in backup chassis number 547 at Daytona in July.
One thing that's become a very common theme here in this Chase is at the end of the race we look up and most of the people in the Top 10 are Chase drivers. Sitting in your position, that's not really a bad thing because if everybody is near you, then they can't really gain a lot of points on you. Have you noticed that it's been kind of common now that all through five races that those guys are all -- you guys always seem to find yourselves at the end of the race? "Yeah, I think a lot of it has to do with it's the 12 best teams over the regular season and it kind of backs up why those cars are in the Chase. I know it's tough on the guys that don't make the Chase that are right on that bubble mark, but those top 12 guys typically run hard through the Chase and run in the Top 10 all the time. I think it's that more than anything.
"You just get to the end of the year; I think some guys are upset with their years and maybe not focused. You have teams that are trying a lot of stuff that aren't in the Chase, and they could be slower and not performing because of using the races as test beds and things like that. It doesn't surprise me too much. But I wish there was some separation in there at times."
You often talk about putting the blinders on, and that's a constant theme for you guys. Can you just detail how you go about doing that, how you get your mental state during this week coming up or whatever? How do you avoid hearing about things or how do you get away from it mentally? "It's done in a lot of different ways. At the end of the day it really just means focusing on what we need to do. We've all been there before, if it's been in sports -- mainly sports, I guess, would be the best example where you're doing well, you're in a rhythm, things are great, you get a little confident and you lose -- whatever it is, if you're shooting hoops, if you're swinging a golf club, it's just gone.
"I've learned over time in a race car that that same thing can happen. I need to just worry about doing my job and not let the emotions affect my effort and my focus. That can be negative thoughts, it can be good thoughts. You've just got to stay focused on your little world, or I stay focused on my world, and that's it. I encourage my guys to do the same. If it's a tire changer, all he needs to be thinking about is five lug nuts off, five lug nuts on; run to the other side, five off, five on. Jack man needs to think of his steps, where he's placing the jack, run around, do the same. So that's kind of what I mean by it is for us to all stay in our worlds and focused on our jobs, and we need to go out and execute."