Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS ON TODAY'S RACE: "For us, today's race went exactly as we planned and hoped. So, I am very pleased with that. I think it is pretty rare that that takes place and happens. We decided to ride at the back...
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS
ON TODAY'S RACE:
"For us, today's race went exactly as we planned and hoped. So, I am very pleased with that. I think it is pretty rare that that takes place and happens. We decided to ride at the back and try to avoid to problems and it took a long-time before we had a big problem. At that point we were relieved. Then we kind of worked our way back up through there, but at that point, for whatever reason there was only about 25 or 27 cars still out on the track and the energy from that type of draft is much less risky than a 43-car draft. At that point, I felt comfortable to get up there and race. I could see the guys close to me in points had the same philosophy going, so it helped me stay back there and be comfortable with kind of riding. Once we took off and got going, I had a great race car and almost won the thing."
ON DECISION TO LAY BACK UNTIL LATE IN THE RACE BEFORE MOVING FORWARD:
"It is tough, I have tried it before but I would only go part of the race and got in a big hurry to go get in the crash, was right in the middle of it in the past. This time our patience worked. I started to feel like we may have made a mistake until we got that big caution pretty late in the event and then it was like, all right, our patience has paid off today and now it is time to go racing. I did see that a lot of people were worried and concerned about the bump drafting and guys were being very cautious on the track, which was helpful too. So I think the guys did a good job out there today.
"It is tough to hit on the right strategy here. I think this is one of the few I remember, probably not the only one, that a driver held off in the back and was able to win. Outside of today's race, was Dale Jarrett. There are so many other circumstances that have to go your way. If there isn't a big wreck or you have a caution free race like we have seen here or very few cautions; single car incidents, you are riding around in the back, then you end up with 30 or 40 great race cars you have to get by. So I think circumstances really dictate how that strategy really plays out, today it worked. It worked out well for us. But you look at the No. 20 and the No. 11, I don't know for sure where the No. 11 finished, but it looked like the No. 20 was up front all day long and it worked out great for him so that was kind of flipped strategies there."
ON HIS GRADE OF FIRST SUPERSPEEDWAY RACE FOR IMPALA SS, NEW GENERATION NASCAR RACE CAR:
"I can't really give it a fair grade, because I wasn't the meat in the sandwich throughout the day today, I was in the back just kind of riding. At the end, the pack was small enough and there was only 15 or 20 good cars, it was pretty controlled and pretty easy to draft with people. So I can't say that I was really involved enough in the race to give a good opinion of it."
-credit: gm racing