Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jimmie Johnson Martinsville Preview: Goody's Fast Relief 500

Johnson running a new chassis this week 
Martinsville Speedway

• Johnson has made 18 Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway, where he has earned six wins, 13 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.
• His only finish outside the top ten came in his first start at the .526-mile track in 2002.
• Johnson, who has won five of the last nine events at Martinsville, has completed 99.4% (8965 of 9019) of competition laps and has led 1551.
• He has an average start and finish of 11.9 and 5.3.

Johnson will pilot brand new chassis No. 653 in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series event.
• Backup chassis No. 540 crossed the finish line fifth at Phoenix International Speedway in Nov. 2010.

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE HEADING TO MARTINSVILLE?: “The spring race did not go as we had hoped (last year). The fall race, we ran really well although I guess we didn’t lead a lap. I remember the 29 (Kevin Harvick), the 11 (Denny Hamlin) and us racing real hard all day. I feel like we’re close. We probably don’t have the dominant car that we’ve had there in years past or other teams have caught us. I feel like I should have been second or third, but I don’t recall the end of that run and why we ended up sixth. The track has been good to us and we just need to find a little something there — a little bit goes a long way on that small of a track like that.”

WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE FOR YOU AT MARTINSVILLE?: “For me, it’s just a fun place to race. I encourage friends and family to come to that track and watch. It’s a great snapshot of NASCAR in the old days where you’re right on top of the action whether you’re on pit road or in the grandstands. I just personally enjoy the challenge that track brings and I think it’s a cool venue. Outside of that I guess I’m a competitor and every time I’m in the car I want to win and I want to be as fast as I can.”

Career Wins
• Johnson has 53 wins in his Sprint Cup Series career, his most recent coming at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 26, 2010.
• The El Cajon, Calif.-native is currently 10th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, one victory behind Lee Petty.
• He is second in total wins among active drivers, behind Jeff Gordon (82).
• Johnson needed only 296 starts to hit the 50 mark. Only three drivers have reached 50 victories quicker – Gordon (232), Darrell Waltrip (278) and David Pearson (293).
• Johnson has won at least three Cup races a season since he posted his first victory in 2002. He is the only driver in the modern era to win at least three races in each of his first eight full-time seasons.
• Johnson has won Sprint Cup Series races at all but four (Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Homestead) of the 22 tracks on which the series competes.
• Johnson’s 10 wins in 2007 was the highest number recorded in a single season since Jeff Gordon posted 13 victories in 1998.
• The four-consecutive wins scored by the No. 48 team in the 2007 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ties a modern-era NASCAR record.

Career Poles
• Johnson has collected 25 poles in his Sprint Cup career.
• The championship driver has earned at least one pole a year since his first full-time season in 2002.
• He had a career-high six poles in 2008.
• Johnson’s most recent pole position was at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 24, 2010.

Career Starts
• Johnson has finished in the top five in the Sprint Cup Series point standings each year since his first full season in 2002.
• Johnson is the only driver to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup every year since the format was adopted in 2004.
• In 332 Sprint Cup Series starts, Johnson has posted 137 top-five and 206 top-10 finishes.
• He has a top-five finish at every track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit.
• Johnson has led a total of 11,182 laps (of 95,696) in his Sprint Cup career, covering over 128,108 miles.
• He has finished on the lead lap 257 times.

- GMR Live Marketing for Team Lowe’s Racing, Press Release

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