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Pocono Preview: We've Got Momentum

DOVER RECAP: Last weekend at Dover International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson powered his No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS to his 68th Sprint Cup career victory and second straight win of the 2014 season. Johnson dominated the 400-mile event, leading 272 laps en route to a record-holding ninth career victory at the one-mile oval. The six-time Sprint Cup champion has now led 2,976 laps at Dover in his Cup career, which surpasses the previous all-time record held by Hall of Famer Bobby Allison (2,802 laps led). Johnson’s victory at Dover followed a win at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 25, which marked the 13th time in his career that he has earned back-to-back wins.

SEASON-TO-DATE: After 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, Johnson owns the highest driver rating with a score of 109.3. Following his win at Dover, Johnson jumped two positions in the driver standings and now holds the honor of the most laps led this season with 963.

TEST, TEST: Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates will spend June 3-4 testing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in anticipation of the 300-mile event there in July.

DRIVER RATING: Johnson has the highest driver rating at Pocono with a score of 109.3 in the past 18 races at “The Tricky Triangle”. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

STELLAR AT POCONO: In 24 starts at Pocono, Johnson has three wins, ten top-five finishes, 16 top-10s and has led 733 laps around the 2.5-mile track. He has completed all but nine of all possible laps run at the Tricky Triangle for a career completion rate of 99.8 percent (4,458 out of 4,467). 

THREE-PEAT: During Johnson’s 13-year Sprint Cup career, he has recorded three consecutive wins on two occasions – once in 2004 and once in 2007 during a span of four consecutive victories. He is the most recent driver to win three consecutive races.

UPCOMING HOMETOWN HONOR:  Johnson will return to his hometown of El Cajon, California, on June 17, where the city council of El Cajon will recognize his racing accomplishments and philanthropic contributions. Mayor Bill Wells, the city council, Senator Joel Anderson and other local dignitaries will be honoring Johnson during a special ceremony that begins at 11:00 a.m. local time at El Cajon’s Centennial Plaza. Portions of the event will be broadcast live on 101.5 KGB. For more details, visit http://www.ci.el-cajon.ca.us/.

CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-824 for this weekend’s 400-mile race. Johnson last cruised this chassis to a third-place finish at Darlington Raceway. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-728, which Johnson most recently raced in March at Bristol Motor Speedway.

#TEAMJJF WELLNESS CHALLENGE:  The next event in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge is the Lake Norman Excursion on July 12. For more information or to sign up, visit http://jjfwellnesschallenge.racesonline.com/. Johnson and his wife Chandra launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in February 2006, with the mission of assisting children, families and communities in need throughout the United States. Since its inception, the foundation has committed more than $6.7 million to various charities. For additional information on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, visit www.JimmieJohnsonFoundation.org.

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT POCONO:  In 197 starts at Pocono Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports has 15 wins, 60 top-five finishes and 103 top-10s. The organization’s 15 wins are the most among competitors in the Sprint Cup Series, with Jeff Gordon leading the team and series in Pocono victories (six). Hendrick Motorsports swept Pocono last season, winning the both the pole and the race at the June and August events. Kasey Kahne most recently took the checkered flag there in August 2013, after teammate Johnson won the pole position at the Pennsylvania track. Prior to that, Johnson started from the pole position and led 128 laps en route to his third career victory at the 2.5-mile triangle in June 2013.

30TH ANNIVERSARY: In 2014, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports’ first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.


“We have some momentum right now. Pocono is a great track for the No. 48 team. There are a couple of things there to think about and I think it’s such a big track it’s tough to see it all from a fan perspective.  But inside the car and the challenge that the crew chief faces there is a lot going on around that race track. I know it’s Chad’s (Knaus) favorite race track to go to because all three corners are different, the loading is different, the banking is different, and there are a bunch of tools and options to adjust the race car all the way around the track.  That is what Chad really enjoys about that.” 

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Jeff Gordon
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Newman
Jimmie Johnson
Started: 8th
Finished: 1st
November 15th, 2015
2:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Kobalt Hot Pass