Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's eighth of the ten-race 2007 "Chase for the Nextel Cup." After posting his 31st career victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Johnson is second among...
Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's eighth of the ten-race 2007 "Chase for the Nextel Cup." After posting his 31st career victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Johnson is second among the 12 "Chase" drivers trailing Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon by 9 points.
After victories at Martinsville and Atlanta, he hopes to post his third consecutive victory this weekend equaling the performance in 2004 when he won at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Martinsville and Atlanta. With only the Texas, Phoenix and Homestead races left on the 2007 schedule, Johnson hopes to become the sport's 13th back-to-back champion and first since Jeff Gordon won titles in 1997 and 1998. Johnson will race a Chevrolet Impala SS "Car of Tomorrow" with a special Kobalt Tools paint scheme this weekend in Texas.
JIMMIE JOHNSON ON WHAT HE LEARNED LAST YEAR REGARDING PRESSURE: "It's being in the right frame of mind and having the patience for the season and for the Chase; you only learn that from experience. And that experience of really the last five seasons, including last year's Chase and championship, have just continued to make me smarter and stronger, and the same for the team. Experience is everything. You can talk to anyone in sports and they'll take experience over age regardless of the discipline."
WHAT HE LEARNED FROM JEFF GORDON AND THEIR DIFFERENCES: "I think his big picture perspective is something he's really helped me with in trying to understand if it's business or race-related or whatever it may be. There is usually a lot that leads into everything; a decision or a point of view or whatever it may be; and how you drive the car, and what you're looking for in the race. The big picture point of view has been very helpful as something that he's taught me. I think that one of the opposites is the type of race cars that we like and look for. He likes a car that he can really pull on the steering wheel with and likes the feeling in the front of the car, where I like a car that I can drive with my foot and with the back or the car and rear tires and how you drive it with the throttle makes the car corner. Those would be the opposites."
ON TWO-MAN RACE & NOTICING ATTITUDE CHANGES AT THE 24/48 SHOP: "No, and I'm not sure if it's a two-man race yet. But I have not seen any change in our guys. I see a lot of excitement out of them and that excitement continues to build. I think the 24 and 48 guys as we break out into the race weekend and maybe they are swayed one way or another but these guys come in wearing one shirt. One side of it has the Lowe's logo and the other side has the DuPont logo. They just want championships. So I see a lot of camaraderie inside the shop and a lot of energy to try and win this thing. It's exciting to have our two cars fighting for it. It's very exciting and proud moment for these guys who put in so much time and effort to have their two cars fighting for the championship."
* Johnson will race chassis 363 on Sunday while chassis 359 will serve as the backup. Chassis 363 won at Atlanta on Sunday as well as at California and Las Vegas this season. It won the All-Star race in 2006. Chassis 359 won at Indianapolis last year and at Atlanta in March.