Want to know even more about Jimmie Johnson and Team 48? See what journalists from around the country are saying about Team Lowe's Racing.
Jimmie Johnson describes Talladega as the wild card of the Chase. The one track where anything can happen to anyone at any time. At each of his visits to a superspeedway in 2012, something did happen to Jimmie Johnson each time that didn't allow him to finish the race. However, all of that is in the past now, and the Chase races are the ones that count. So, can Johnson conquer the track that has given him so many problems in the past? We will find out soon enough, but here is what Jimmie's thoughts are on the race...
Assess your chances heading into Talladega. You have said it’s the wild card of the Chase.
“Well, as you can probably see from our finishes this year, we haven’t had a lot of luck at the restrictor-plate tracks. It definitely is the one track in the Chase I’ve kind of been a little concerned about. There are a lot of great tracks for the 48 coming up in the Chase, but this one is definitely one where anything can happen. There are so many things that are out of your control. There is a lot of room on this track to move around though, obviously, and try things. I think the odds are in our favor to be able to finish one of these restrictor-plate races this year. At least I hope so.”
You have crashed out of all three restrictor-plate races so far this year. Do you have any special plans for how to make it to the end at Talladega?
“I heard NASCAR was considering dropping that track from the Chase. I’m thrilled about Talladega being off the schedule or the points not counting. How about that? That would be good (laughs). Well, the odds are against me based on our finishes, but eventually we’ve got to finish one. So, hopefully it’s this fall race and it’s a good position.”
Can you talk about what your emotions and feelings were coming to this track for the first time back in 2000 when you competed in the Nationwide Series? (Started 28thand finished 29thin April 2000)
“I remember being really excited to be in the draft and to be at a big track. The Daytona race we missed, we didn’t qualify for. It was my first plate race. I went in with high hopes and just thought you could hold it wide open and create moves and things would happen. I quickly learned there is a specific art to work the draft and to be competitive there. I didn’t find those skills that day. I’ve been working on them ever since. It’s just a different deal. I really was excited to be in a big pack. I grew up watching this stuff. I enjoyed watching the plate races and all that went on with it and I wanted to be one of those guys. I finally had my chance.”