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 comes off of a winning weekend at Indy and heads to the Tricky Triangle at Pocono Raceway for the second time this season. Another win (or more) would go a long way in giving Johnson leverage heading in to the Chase and, if Team Lowe's Racing keeps racing how they have been lately, anything is possible. Earlier this year, Johnson drove to a strong 4th place finish at Pocono . Do you think he will be able to make it to Victory Lane two weeks in a row?
Here were some of Johnson's thoughts this week...
Are you looking forward to going back to Pocono?
“I am excited to go back because we had a really strong car there in the last race. I think we had a few track-position issues to overcome and a two speeding issues, but we still managed a top-five finish. Chad (Knaus, crew chief) called a great race. He got me some track position on two tires. The pit stops were flawless and we had a fast car. After last week’s win at the Brickyard, the entire team is excited to get to Pocono and keep the momentum going.”
If the Chase started tomorrow you’re among the top seeds and have a lot of momentum. Every time you’ve won Indy, you’ve gone on to win a championship. Do you feel you’re back on top of this Sprint Cup game, as you sure appear right now?
“I feel, from a performance standpoint, we’re as strong as we’ve ever been. We’ve had issues late in a race that cost us track position for a variety of reasons, and that’s the part we need to make sure is buttoned up before the Chase starts and carry that through the Chase. But, from a performance standpoint, these are amazing racecars. We’ve made a lot of progress through the offseason, and then, getting started this year. I feel really good about the Chase. I’m ready for it to start.”
You’ve said how the communication between you and Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Chad Knaus and Steve Letarte (Earnhardt’s crew chief) is as good as it’s ever been in the shop. Are the Nos. 48 and 88 co-favorites for the title?
“Yeah, I’d kind of look further back and think it started around Darlington with the 200th win for our shop. I mean, the 88 and the 48 have been so close to a win, and that was the first win for us, and then things started rolling from there. Clearly, Junior’s win was huge and put that stamp, that seal of approval, on what they’re doing in their minds. Stevie and Junior have really brought a lot to the table. I have to say, from Pocono to now, the stuff that Junior has liked in the car and what he’s felt has opened up doors for us to pursue and a road for us to go down where we’ve made our stuff better. There’s a lot of confidence in our shop with both teams, and the communication is as good as it’s ever been. I’m happy to see Steve as confident as he is, and Junior, both, because we can really lean on them and pull from them, and it’s a two‑way street. That’s something that’s new this year, and I’m proud of both of them for where they’re at and where our whole team is.