Texas: Jimmie Johnson preview

Team 48 Texas Motor Speedway Preview Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Team Lowe's Racing crew head to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for their 10th visit to the 1.5-mile oval. In his nine previous starts, Johnson has turned in seven ...

Team 48 Texas Motor Speedway Preview

Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Team Lowe's Racing crew head to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for their 10th visit to the 1.5-mile oval. In his nine previous starts, Johnson has turned in seven top-10 finishes, including a win in November 2007.

Phoenix International Raceway announced this week that the April 10 NASCAR Camping World Series West race will be named the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 150.

The two-time reigning Sprint Cup champion and wife Chandra will participate in pre-race ceremonies, and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation will host a special reception during the race in one of PIR's luxury suites.

Tickets for the reception have been donated to the Jimmie Johnson Foundation's partner program organizations, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Hendrick Marrow Program, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and Victory Junction Gang Camp, as well as PIR's charitable partner, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix.

JIMMIE JOHNSON:

On first time racing the Impala SS (COT) at Texas Motor Speedway: "Anything we did last year doesn't apply with this car, especially on these big tracks. We learned through last year's experience the COT on short tracks compared to the old car, and it is the same way now on these big tracks. Some of the same philosophies apply as far as aero and mechanical, the things that we look for. But the way that you get there is different with the design of this car and the areas we have to work with that NASCAR has, as we all know, tightened that box and the areas we can work. It is just a different environment and here in the next short period of time we will have stuff where we need it and be back where we all think we should be."

On how recent testing has been going: "We needed the track time, we needed to work through some things. We needed more seat time with feeling the different combinations and what we can put under the car to find a foundation to build off of. We spent a lot of time doing that the last few weeks and hopefully what we have learned will pan out and show up in Texas. The race we had in Martinsville, that was to be expected. I feel if we go and have a good run in Texas, then our testing paid off. We spent a lot of time last year worried about the championship. If you really think about it, I didn't test the COT on any big tracks through the NASCAR testing that came along. Jeff did a Michigan test for Hendrick Motorsports, I didn't do the Charlotte test. I didn't do the Atlanta test, so myself and Chad included were probably a little further behind than we first thought we would be. We are just catching up to understand the car a little bit, and thankfully it is a long year, and thankfully the Chase is where you have to worry about being in that top-12 and then worry about your best 10 races. We are just playing what we can.

"It is tough to test because you don't have a lot of tires to work with so, in my opinion, we are probably going to be out of tires soon and won't have a chance to test. Hopefully, this stuff has paid off, and hopefully we get back to our normal schedule. The last few years it has been going so smoothly, and we understood the old car so well that we just didn't need to test as much as some of the other teams. Hopefully we get back to that spot and have that luxury. I don't expect that, because I know how difficult this sport is."

On tires and if racing will be similar to Atlanta: "I don't have a clue, and we typically don't know what tire we are going to be on too far in advance or what the changes are going to do to the car. We just show up, bolt them on and go. Atlanta did not work that well. I don't think I was overly opinionated; I had bigger problems than tires with my car there. But when you have the first and second-place guys climb out of their cars complaining like they did and have the strong opinions they did, you can listen to those opinions. The guy running 13th, barely hanging on to the lead lap all day, had bigger problems than that. So, I don't know what to expect in Texas. I am not even sure what tire we are running on. We don't spend a lot of time focused on it, because we can't do a damn thing about it. We just show up, bolt them on and go."

Team Lowe's Racing will use chassis No. 465 as its primary car in Sunday's 334-lap, 501-mile event at Texas Motor Speedway. In its only other showing, Johnson drove the chassis to a second-place finish at California Speedway in February. The backup car, chassis No. 433, was last used at the March Bristol event.

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports