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Geometry Lesson

Anyone who paid attention in math class knows that a triangle has three sides. Most NASCAR fans know that most racetracks have four corners. So it’s a little unusual for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racetrack to mirror the aforementioned triangle as opposed to the aforementioned four-cornered track configuration.

But that’s exactly what happens this weekend when Jimmie Johnson and the rest of the series visit Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, otherwise known as the “Tricky Triangle.” The track’s unique configuration includes one of the longest straightaways on the circuit and the longest and widest pit road, a fact the pit crews appreciate.

Johnson appreciates the track, too. He has commented how the track’s quirkiness makes it a fun place to race. Running well probably adds to his fondness for the 2.5-mile track. The five-time champion has two wins (2004 sweep) and has nine top-five and 15 top-10s in 22 starts. He also has finished every one of the 22 races he has run, and has the second-best driver rating.

But Johnson doesn’t need to worry about numbers or triangular dimensions. He just needs to concentrate on driving his No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet to victory lane. And it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t need to be a mathematician to do that.

Here's what Johnson said about heading to Pocono (and testing):

Talk about racing at Pocono.

“I like Pocono. I’m interested to see how the new surface acts going back. I think it went really well for all of us after the repave and it should only be better this time. I’m also excited to shift again up there.”

Is there someplace in particular you believe you need to test more than other places with the new car? 

For me, I think Phoenix is the question mark. We finished second there in the spring, but we didn’t have the confidence during the race weekend we wanted to. We raced better than we expected to, finished better than we thought. From the 48’s standpoint, that’s probably the hottest track in our mind. With the testing format the way it is, it might not play out that way. We’ll have to see. Luckily, all the cars are running well and we’re able to sit on our test sessions right now and use them in the best manner possible, hopefully on Chase tracks. That would be the ideal situation. As we get through the summer, if we have a teammate who’s near that cutoff point, we need to get stronger at a regular-season racetrack. We can have that strategy in place, too.” 

Race Statistics

  • Two wins (2004 sweep).
  • Two poles (June 2003 and August 2008).
  • Nine top-five finishes (40.9 percent) and 15 top-10s (68.2 percent) in 22 starts.
  • No DNFs (did not finish).
  • Sprint Cup’s second-best driver rating (107.6 average of a possible 150 points).
  • In 13 Sprint Cup races run this season, Johnson has six top-five finishes.

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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