Team 48 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Preview

Jimmie Johnson

2010 Starts: 26 Wins: 5 Top 5: 10 Top 10: 14

Current Driver Point Standings: 2nd Points Behind 1st: 10

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Finish in Richmond: 3rd September 2009 Finish at New Hampshire: 4th

NEWS

Jimmie Johnson is featured in the first-annual GOLF MAGAZINE No. 1 Issue, a cover-to-cover celebration of golf excellence. The October 2010 issue hits newsstands Sept. 14. Jimmie is a part of a 24-page People Portfolio that also includes interviews with Bill Murray, Larry David, Michael Jordan and other well-known golfers.

Johnson appeared in a segment on the final season premiere of The Oprah Winfrey Show on Monday, Sept. 13.

RACE NOTES

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Johnson has made 17 Sprint Cup Series starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where he has earned three wins, six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.

Johnson has completed 98.7% (4906 of 4973) of competition laps at the 1.058-mile oval and has led 297.

He has an average start and finish of 9.1 and 9.0.

Chassis

Johnson last piloted chassis No. 540 to a win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June.

Back up chassis No. 520 has collected four wins in five starts – the most recent coming at Martinsville Speedway in March 2009.

QUOTES

WHAT HAVE YOU GUYS DONE ALREADY TO PREPARE FOR THE FIRST CHASE RACE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE? “New Hampshire has been on everyone’s mind since Daytona. Everybody knows that that race is coming and that is when the Chase starts and everybody hopes to be one of the twelve drivers in the Chase. As you start to lock in and know that you are going to lock in, you really draw all attention to that race and then all the races following. You start getting into Dover and looking into your set-ups for Dover and start to work on all those races, so we are in that category and we have been looking at Loudon and we feel very confident with the Loudon race track because we won there in the spring and we had a very dominant car throughout the day. So it’s top of mind for us too and we have been doing some testing too and I think the performance we had in Atlanta was a great step for this team at the 1.5 mile tracks. So hopefully we have got momentum and performance coming at the right time.”

WHEN PEOPLE SAY YOU LOOK VULNERABLE, THE FACTS DON’T BACK IT UP. YOUR FINISH IN THE LAST TEN RACES IS BETTER THIS YEAR THAN LAST YEAR. DOES IT FEEL ANY DIFFERENT? “No, it doesn’t. I know that last year we entered the Chase without the momentum that I wanted and I remember being a part of the celebration here and taking photos for the Chase and I was in a terrible mood. We ran so bad. I thought that we had been close, I guess, with our average finish leading into the Chase, and I just know from experience, the Chase is its own environment. When we wake up Monday morning and whenever drivers and teams start thinking about the Chase, probably Monday morning, most guys will kickback tomorrow and relax. There’s just a pit that develops in your stomach and doesn’t go away. It’s the championship pit and it’s there.

“We are all going to wake up with it and deal with it and some guys handle it better than others. I think our team the last four years has been really comfortable with that pit in their stomach and dealt with it well. I hope we can do it again. There’s no telling. It’s been awfully tough to win four in a row, but we’ll show up and give 100% and at the end of the ten races, if we give 100% and get beat, then we’ll go home and be proud of what we did. But if we squandered it away and do something stupid and say, we just didn’t give it our all, we’ll be disappointed. We just want to do our best.”

SPRINT CUP SERIES CAREER NOTES

Career Wins

Johnson has 52 wins in his Sprint Cup Series career, his most recent coming at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 27, 2010.

The El Cajon, Calif.-native is currently 10th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, two victories behind Lee Petty.

He is second in total wins among active drivers, behind Jeff Gordon (82).

Johnson needed only 296 starts to hit the 50 mark. Only three drivers have reached 50 victories quicker – Gordon (232), Darrell Waltrip (278) and David Pearson (293).

Johnson has won at least three Cup races a season since he posted his first victory in 2002. He is the only driver in the modern era to win at least three races in each of his first eight full-time seasons.

Johnson has won Sprint Cup Series races at all but four (Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Homestead) of the 22 tracks on which the series competes.

Johnson was the first driver to win three of the first five races in The Chase.

Johnson’s 10 wins in 2007 was the highest number recorded in a single season since Jeff Gordon posted 13 victories in 1998.

The four-consecutive wins scored by the No. 48 team in the 2007 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ties a modern-era NASCAR record.

Career Poles

Johnson has collected 24 poles in his Sprint Cup career.

The championship driver has earned at least one pole a year since his first full-time season in 2002.

He had a career-high six poles in 2008.

Johnson’s most recent pole position was at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 20, 2010.

Career Starts

In 26 2010 starts, Johnson has collected five wins, 10 top five and 14 top-10 finishes.

Johnson has finished in the top five in the Sprint Cup Series point standings each year since his first full season in 2002.

Johnson is the only driver to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup every year since the format was adopted in 2004.

In 317 Sprint Cup Series starts, Johnson has posted 127 top-five and 194 top-10 finishes.

He has a top-five finish at every track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit.

Johnson has led a total of 10,764 laps (of 91,127) in his Sprint Cup career, covering over 122,262 miles.

He has finished on the lead lap 244 times.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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