Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Jimmie Johnson 'Go-Time' as Chase Approaches

Johnson has a 10.4 average finish at Atlanta (Getty)
Atlanta Motor Speedway
• Johnson has made 19 Sprint Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he has three wins, 10 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
• Johnson has completed 99.3% (6080 of 6123) of competition laps at the 1.54-mile track and has led 411.
• He has an average start and finish of 8.2 and 10.4.

• Johnson will pilot chassis No. 650 in Sunday’s event. He last drove that car to a fourth-place finish at Pocono Raceway in June. He also finished runner-up with it at Fontana, finished eighth at Texas and ninth at Dover.
• Johnson finished 16th in backup chassis No. 623 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.


“I think regardless of what any driver or team has accomplished in the past, you’re always focused on where you are today. The success we’ve had over the last five years doesn’t guarantee anything for this year’s Chase so we’re living in the moment, we’re living in the now, worried about what we need to do today to win races. When I look at this weekend’s race and the success and speed we’ve had here over the last two or three years. I’m excited to come back and excited to be here. I feel that we will qualify well and have a shot at winning the race. I’m excited, I would love to have another win for the bonus points and also what it does for the team moral, the confidence it gives the race team moving forward. Any momentum you can build now is very helpful in the Chase. I say that in the back of my mind. I think of years where we’ve entered the Chase pretty far off, much further off than what some critics say where we are now and we still won the championship. So it’s not that you have to win but there’s nothing bad that comes from it and we’re here to win the race this weekend.”


Career Wins
• 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 tied with Lee Petty for ninth on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, one victory behind Rusty Wallace.
• He is second in total wins among active drivers, behind Jeff Gordon (84).
• 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 five (Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Homestead, Kentucky) of the 23 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 351 Sprint Cup Series starts, Johnson has posted 144 top-five and 219 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 11,585 laps (of 100,952) in his Sprint Cup career, covering over 135,629 miles.
• He has finished on the lead lap 274 times.

Career Recognition
• Johnson was named by Forbes as the Most Influential Athlete in 2011.
• In 2009, Johnson became the first race car driver to be named Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in its 78-year history.
• Voted Driver of the Year four times in his career (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010), Johnson joins Jeff Gordon as four-time winners of the prestigious award.
• Johnson has won an ESPY for Best Driver four times, in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

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

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