Team Lowe’s Racing – Jimmie Johnson – Talladega Superspeedway Preview

Jimmie Johnson

2010 Starts: 32 Wins: 6 Top 5: 15 Top 10: 19

Current Driver Point Standing: 1st
American Muscle

Finish in Martinsville: 5th November 2009 Finish at Talladega: 6th


Talladega Superspeedway

Johnson has made 17 Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega Superspeedway, where he has earned one win, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes.

Johnson has completed 95.9% (3092 of 3225) of competition laps at the 2.66-mile tri-oval and has led 201.

He has an average start and finish of 9.7 and 17.8.


Johnson will pilot brand new chassis No. 618 in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race.

Back up chassis No. 482 was driven to a sixth-place result at Talladega last November.


IS THE RUN FOR THIS CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR ANY DIFFERENT THAN ANY OF THE OTHERS THAT YOU HAVE WON? “Yeah, I think that every other championship has helped me be more confident in my abilities, what my team is capable of; and there are probably some other emotions

that are wrapped up into it that all lead to the fact that I am much more relaxed fighting for this championship than any other championship in my life. So experience really helps out a lot and I have enjoyed these last five races more than I did the last year and the year before, and so on.

“I feel like I am in a really good place where some guys that are fighting for their first championship, there is so much on it. I have been there, so I know exactly what those feelings are like. I feel like it’s helpful for me to be this relaxed and to come in and not obsess over things during the week and to come into the track with a fresh mind and a ton of energy and go to work. So I really hope that the experience gives me an upper hand through the championship battle.”

AT TALLADEGA, THERE IS REALLY NO WAY OF STAYING OUT OF THE BIG ONE. YOU’VE DONE IT BOTH WAYS, AT THE FRONT OF THE PACK AND THE BACK OF THE PACK. IS IT REALLY A ONE IN 200-LAP SHOOTOUT THAT YOU NEVER REALLY KNOW AND THERE’S NO SURE WAY OF AVOIDING IT? “We’ve tried both approaches and the last three years we’ve made it through there (the big crash) without any big trouble. I can remember Bobby Labonte at the front of the pack racing Talladega one time and gets flipped over and ends up landing on Tony Stewart, who is trying to ride at the back to be smart for points. So there is no safe place. We see a lot of teams trying to be conservative and smart and get to the end of the race and go from there and the problem we have now is when everybody decides with 20 (laps) to go, that it’s time to race, you have to race. You need the best finish you can get and that’s where the crashes are. So I think we all feel better if we go 480 miles and then get crashed. It really sucks to crash at five miles into the race or something. I think that’s what we’ve done over the years is there’s no need to push the envelope now if something weird went on, we could miss that. But at the end you’ve got to pull (the belts) tight and drive through there and try to get the best finish you can.”


Career Wins

Johnson has 53 wins in his Sprint Cup Series career, his most recent coming at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 26, 2010.

The El Cajon, Calif.-native is currently 10th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, one victory 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 25 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 Dover International Speedway on Sept. 24, 2010.

Career Starts

In 32 2010 starts, Johnson has collected six wins, 15 top five and 19 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 323 Sprint Cup Series starts, Johnson has posted 132 top-five and 199 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 10,992 laps (of 93,127) in his Sprint Cup career, covering over 124,543 miles.

He has finished on the lead lap 249 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


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