F1, Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, MotoGP, ALMS, And More!
z


Jul 11, 2014 - 01:20 PM
Top News!
Rumors Edition!
Upcoming Racing! (Updated)



Top Stories
· 2014 Silverstone: Formula One F1 Wednesday Test Results - Bianchi, Ferrari Fastest! (Jul 9, 2014)
· 2014 Silverstone: Formula One F1 Tuesday Test Results - Massa, Williams Fastest! (Jul 8, 2014)
· 2014 Pocono 500: IndyCar Race Results - Montoya, Chevrolet Win! (Jul 6, 2014)
· 2014 Daytona II (Coke Zero 400): NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Results - Almirola, Ford Win! (Jul 6, 2014)
· 2014 British GP (Silverstone): Formula One F1 Race Results - Hamilton, Mercedes Win! (Jul 6, 2014)

Previous Top Stories!


Hot Rumors!
· F1: Sainz debut at Hockenheim 'possible ? (Jul 10, 2014)
· F1: Bianchi, Gutierrez, Sainz star in 2014 'silly season' ? (Jul 9, 2014)
· F1: Newey could design Infiniti supercar ? (Jul 5, 2014)
· F1: Marmorini 'in danger' at Ferrari ? (Jul 4, 2014)
· F1: Raikkonen to 'probably' quit after 2015 ? (Jul 4, 2014)
More Rumors!


2014 New Hampshire Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Jimmie Johnson
Posted by: ASkyler on Jul 11, 2014 - 01:16 PM
NASCAR News
2014 New Hampshire Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Jimmie Johnson


JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS, met with media and discussed racing at New Hampshire, testing for future Chase races, the upcoming off-weekend, the newly-formed RTA, and more.

YOU HAVE THREE WINS HERE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE. TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL THIS WEEKEND

"We’ve had great cars and things have been building through the course of the year and we’ve got a lot of speed in our race cars. And so, I’m happy to have so many top 10’s and three wins (here). Coming to a track that’s really important, obviously, this track is in the Chase, we felt it was important enough for Hendrick Motorsports and we came up here and tested. We’re definitely excited to be here and hope that the things we learned through our test session up here, although we did have some weather up here that we were dealing with, that we are able to advance and have fast race cars right off the truck today."

 

Bookmark and Share
IN LIGHT OF LAST WEEK’S RACE AT DAYTONA, TWO OF THE THREE ELIMINATION RACES IN THE CHASE ARE AT TRACKS THAT DO NOT HAVE LIGHTS. DOES NASCAR NEED TO LOOK AT PUTTING MORE EMPHASIS ON TRYING TO FINISH A CHASE RACE OR AN ILLUMINATION RACE REGARDLESS OF HOW LONG IT TAKES? OR, ONCE IT REACHES HALFWAY, THAT’S FINE BECAUSE EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT THE RULE IS?

"I was already in North Carolina so I don’t know how things looked at the end of that race (laughter). But my memory is saying that rained-out events that I have been a part of when we all knew it was going to keep raining and we’ve all fought the battle for days and there wasn’t an opportunity to go back racing. I don’t know if that was what happened in Daytona or not, but NASCAR of anybody, understands the importance of letting the racing take care of itself and letting a race win or a championship happen on the race track and not due to weather. So, my reaction has been they’ve always fought hard to get the race in and to do the right thing at each moment."

GOING BACK TO THAT TEST HERE, WHAT WAS THE HENDRICK MOTIVATION TO BURN A TEST HERE? IS THERE STUFF YOU CAN LEARN HERE THAT CAN TRANSLATE TO OTHER TRACKS? WHAT WAS THE THINKING ABOUT NOT SAVING ALL FOUR TESTS FOR THE CHASE SINCE YOU ALREADY HAVE THREE CARS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP?

"It really was Chase-focused. I think there are multiple factors a team looks at in picking the tracks you go to. If you lock-in early, that helps your strategy and you can look more toward the end of the year. But something teams also look at is where we are the weakest as an organization. Where do the four crew chiefs and drivers get the most frustrated? For Chase-related race tracks, this is one of them for us. That’s why the decision was made as a group. All four drivers and crew chiefs agreed; yeah, let’s go do Loudon. We need to work there. What we do work on and learn here can apply to Phoenix, if you’re looking at Chase-related tracks. Sometimes, what you learn here can help you at Richmond; which can also help us in the regular season with another event there. So, it was more about the group collectively saying that out of the Chase tracks, this is our weakest Chase track."

GIVEN THAT YOU HAVE THREE WINS AND GIVEN THAT THIS WILL BE THE SECOND RACE IN THE CHASE WHEN YOU COME BACK, WHAT DO YOU LOOK TO ACCOMPLISH ON SUNDAY? IS IT DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF THOSE FACTS?

"For us, we hope that we work through all the little details and when we get on the track today that we’re able to be in the top 5 in speed and qualify in the top 5 and have track position working on our side from the start of the race. This is a short event. If you can have track position at the start, and maintain it, it can set you up for a little different fuel strategy and tire strategy and just make life so much easier. Honestly, in the afternoon today, we’ll know if things went well and if we’re setting up how we want for the rest of the weekend."

ARE YOU MORE FOCUSED ON SEPTEMBER THAN YOU NORMALLY WOULD BE FOR A RACE LET’S SAY, LIKE, MICHIGAN THIS WEEKEND?

"From that perspective, absolutely; notes and understanding what the track does and all of that, yeah. We work hard at all of them, but when you compete at event that you know is in the Chase, there seems to be an extra little step-up in paying attention to the fine details."

HOW WAS IT THAT YOU LEARNED THIS TRACK? THIS IS A TRICKY TRACK. CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW YOUR LEARNED IT?

"There are points in time when I feel like I’ve had this track under control and other times that I don’t. I think it speaks to the car set-up and how important it is here. You just can’t say it’s the car’s fault because the driver and crew chief are responsible for how the car acts and responds, but there are times that we have just had it. When you have a good driving car here, you can make stuff happen. And that’s what makes this place fun. On the flip side, if you’re off, it’s a flat track and it’s a small track. You’re in the way. It can be such a frustrating track if you’re off. And I think we won one year back-to-back here and I had so much fun around here (laughs). So, the opportunity is there to have a lot of fun."

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON, EVERYBODY WAS TALKING ABOUT THAT THE NO. 48 WASN’T WINNING. THAT OBVIOUSLY CHANGED. MATT KENSETH IS STILL IN THAT SITUATION. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE HIM TO GET THROUGH HIS SITUATION LIKE YOU GUYS GOT THROUGH YOURS?

"I don’t know if I want to give Matt any advice (laughter). He’s pretty damned good. Just generally speaking, it doesn’t take much for it to shift and change. I can say that the No. 20 has been on the right side of the computer sheet and the monitors that we look at on the left side. They’ve had speed. They’ve been up front. It’s coming. And it doesn’t take much just to have that crossover center and have it work for them. I think our team was proof of that earlier this year. I’m not counting them out. Even though they haven’t been to Victory Lane yet, I feel that they are going to make it into the Chase. With the Chase being ten weeks long, it’s still a long, long period of time to find your way and get going. So, I’m not counting those guys out."

OFF-WEEKEND IS COMING UP. IS IT ONE YOU WANT TO SEE OR NOT WANT TO SEE BECAUSE YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN SO GOOD LATELY? "I’m happy to see it. I think we could use six or seven more of them. I think everybody in the room would agree. Get down to a 25-race schedule or something with more weekends off would be awesome. I’m excited. Even if we were winning and didn’t want it to stop from that momentum stand point, I can’t wait to chill out with family and relax."

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? DO YOU HAVE PLANS? "As little as possible."

THERE WAS A LOT OF SURPRISE THROUGH THE NASCAR WORLD WHEN IT WAS ANNOUNCED ABOUT THE RACE TEAM ALLIANCE (RTA) EARLIER THIS WEEK. WERE YOU SURPRISED? WHAT IS JIMMIE JOHNSON’S REACTION TO THIS? "I’m excited for the teams and the opportunity they have to work together and hopefully drive costs down. And have a more clear and concise voice in the industry on a variety of aspects, not only to NASCAR, but across the board. We will see how things go. It’s obviously very new, but I’m happy that they teams are working together to drive costs down. It’s a very expensive sport and I’m fortunate to drive at Hendrick Motorsports and have the best of any situation and it’s still tough and it’s still lean. Hopefully we are able to have all of the stakeholders strengthen their positions and make our sport stronger."

LAST YEAR AT THIS RACE BRIAN VICKERS WON AND YOU AND SEVERAL OTHER DRIVERS TALKED A LOT ABOUT BEING EXCITED ABOUT THAT JUST BECAUSE OF WHAT HE’S GONE THROUGH. CAN YOU TAKE US BACK THROUGH THAT, AND THE EMOTION OF THAT WEEKEND? "Brain (Vickers) has overcome a lot of issues that many drivers never will go through. To have to step out of the seat due to injury for a long period of time and then try to come back into the sport, find your way, find a team, find a sponsor and get it going again. It’s so difficult and knowing him as I do I think it has helped him see the world in a different light. See our industry in a different light and have a stronger passion for our sport. When he went to Victory Lane last year I know that it meant far more to him than a traditional win would. From climbing the mountain and he has been up that mountain a couple of times now. So he’s done a nice job with that."

DID RICK (HENDRICK) TELL YOU OR GIVE YOU A HEADS UP, YOU AND THE OTHER DRIVERS, ABOUT THE RTA? IS IT SOMETHING THAT YOU GUYS WILL BE MONITORING IN THE FUTURE? "No everybody is paying attention for sure. We were briefed on it at the beginning of the week that the announcement would be coming out. That was the first that I had heard of it. Absolutely, I think there are a lot of people; it doesn’t matter if you are an owner or a driver, NASCAR, or a fan, everybody wants to see this sport succeed and grow. Everybody is paying attention to whatever alliances maybe put together or opinions that someone may have or the direction NASCAR wants to take things in. Absolutely, I love this sport and want the best for it and paying attention to what others do that care for this sport as well."

THERE WILL BE THOSE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE WORRIED THAT THE RTA COULD CREATE A SPLIT. WHY SHOULD OR WHY SHOULD PEOPLE NOT BE WORRIED ABOUT THIS CREATING DIVISION? "I just think it is human nature for some to worry. It doesn’t matter what the topic is. A third probably care, a third don’t care and a third are mad, it doesn’t matter what the topic is. I just don’t see any downside in the owner’s working closer together in sharing what is important to them, what is important to them to run their business, to run a successful business and to be able to put a race car in the field each week. I don’t see anything wrong with that. That environment is there today it is a far looser structure than it has been and now hopefully it’s going in a direction where there could be a more calm and clear voice. If it is within our own industry from a team owner’s side, if it’s directed toward NASCAR, directed towards license merchandising, a variety of angles this could be beneficial in a lot of ways to have a clear voice. Instead of well I was over at Hendrick and I heard this and I was at Roush and I heard that and I was at Penske and heard something altogether different. For everybody to be together on all topics I don’t think there is any down side in being organized."

DOES THAT MEAN THE DRIVERS SHOULD BE NEXT? "That opportunity is definitely there. I don’t know where others stand and feel with it. I haven’t put any thought into it myself. I guess in some ways Pandora’s Box has been opened with this topic and discussion. We will see where it leads. Again, the way I see this is everybody cares for our sport and people are trying to be more organized to help lead and direct our sport in all ways. We will see what the future holds and I feel like there is a positive outcome. This is a good thing. I don’t feel like this is going to drive separation or a split. And I don’t even know where that separation or split would take place. The things that have been discussed through the RTA, it’s all about saving costs. It’s all about driving costs down I don’t see how that’s a bad thing. I know the conversation is owners against NASCAR, but NASCAR is trying to help bring costs down. So is the RTA. I think everybody is working the same direction."

LOOKING AHEAD TO INDIANAPOLIS DO YOU CIRCLE THAT ON THE CALENDAR STILL AS A MUST WIN NO MATTER WHAT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES ARE CHASE WISE? WHAT KIND OF RACE DO YOU EXPECT THIS YEAR? "For sure, Daytona and Indy everybody is going to risk it all for those two events. I’m excited because for a long stretch now we have been able to go there and get it right and be competitive. For the longest time the responsibility and the fault fell on my shoulders. I wouldn’t drive the car right until we got in the race, spent two or three days of setting the car up and drive it wrong. Get in the race and I’m like ‘oh wow’ man I’ve been doing it wrong. We need to go behind pit wall and change spring and all kinds of other things to get this thing right for the race. So now I unload there and I understand how to drive the track and I’m able to get us in that window to be competitive."


PaddockTalk Perspective



Also in NASCAR News:



 
Related links
· NASCAR Edition
· Top PaddockTalk News!
· NASCAR Rumors
· More about NASCAR News







Home :: _ 


All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest (c) 2003-2014 by PaddockTalk.com.
Contact E-mail: admin@paddocktalk.com
Privacy