|Johnson finished 36th last year, but is two-time winner at Darlington|
• Johnson will be paired with a PGA player in Wednesday’s celebrity pro-am prior to the weekend’s PGA event, The Wells Fargo Championship, at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.
• Johnson has made 12 Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington Raceway, where he has earned two wins, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
• Johnson has completed 95.5% (3995 of 4185) of competition laps at the 1.366-mile track and has led 409.
• He has an average start and finish of 12.8 and 9.3.
• Johnson will pilot brand new chassis No. 659 in Saturday night’s race.
• Johnson finished 16th in backup chassis No. 623 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.
THOUGHTS ON MOTHER’S DAY: “This is obviously a very special Mother’s Day for my family with it being Chani’s first Mother’s Day. Obviously my mom has done so much for myself over the years and has really raised her boys right. It’s always good to do something nice for her and be able to celebrate that with her. It’s just going to be an awesome day.”
IF I COULD GET A FEW THOUGHTS ON DARLINGTON…APPROACHING 10 RACES IN, YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT TRACK THIS YEAR COMAPARED TO YOUR YEARS PREVIOUS? “Yeah, with it being a one time race, it’s tough to know how to unload. I was just in some team meetings at Hendrick Motor Sports, and drivers, crew chiefs were all present, and we’re trying to figure out what we go back with. When we raced there last year, our cars were completely different; technology has changed so the setups are different. The tire that we’re running on is different. We don’t really know what to show up with, and with the practice sessions like they are now and the four sets of tires that we get, there’s not a clear strategy going into the weekend what to do.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE, A SIXTH CHAMPIONSHIP OR THE PRO-AM? “Sixth championship, for sure. I just hope to keep it between the galleries tomorrow and just keep it out there. It doesn’t have to be in the short stuff but just somewhere between would be nice.”
SPRINT CUP SERIES CAREER NOTES
• Johnson has 54 wins in his Sprint Cup Series career, his most recent coming at Talladega Superspeedway on April 17, 2011.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 336 Sprint Cup Series starts, Johnson has posted 138 top-five and 209 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 11,261 laps (of 97,118) in his Sprint Cup career, covering over 129,672 miles.
• He has finished on the lead lap 261 times.
- GMR Live Marketing for Team Lowe’s Racing, Press Release