|Jimmie Johnson won at Sonoma Raceway in 2010. He's 25/1 to win this week.|
“I hope everyone had a great off-weekend – I know I did. To be successful on a road course, you have to hit specific lines and marks. You have to be perfect. At Sonoma, it’s a narrow track and there are slower corner speeds. That can be tough on tires. Up until we finally broke through with a win in 2010 at Sonoma, it was one of my toughest tracks. I enjoy going there. It's always great to get back to California.”
SONOMA PERFORMANCE: Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to finish in the top 15 in each of the last nine Sonoma races. Johnson’s seven top-10 finishes in the last nine races are tied with competitor Clint Bowyer for the most in that span. His career average finish is 12.5 at the 1.99-mile road course just north of San Francisco.
BIG EARL IN THE FAN ZONE: Longtime No. 48 team spotter Earl Barban will appear in the fan zone at Sonoma Raceway for a question-and-answer session at 9:30 a.m. local time. Barban has been with the team throughout six of its seven NASCAR Cup Series championship seasons.
KNAUS AMONG THE FEW: No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus is one of the 11 active crew chiefs in the NASCAR Cup Series garage that has at least one win at Sonoma Raceway. Knaus, Johnson and the No. 48 crew led 55 laps at the 1.99-mile road course on June 20, 2010, for their only win to date at the track.
CALIFORNIA TIES: Julian Peña, a race engineer on the No. 48 team, is from Aliso Viego, California. Peña graduated from Aliso Niguel High School in 2002 and Stanford University in 2006 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
83 AND COUNTING: Johnson's next trip to Victory Lane will be his 84th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win. He secured his 83rd in June 2017 to tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list. An 84th win would tie Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. Johnson is currently 10 wins behind former teammate Jeff Gordon, who has 93 victories and is third on the list. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers and Knaus has the most wins of all active crew chiefs with 81.
MICAH ROBERTS TAKE: #48 Jimmie Johnson (25/1) - He hasn't fared well in the past two seasons on road courses and his only win on them came in 2010. But between his team's upward progression and the normal edge differential with the top teams eliminated, I like him to make some precision laps and have a good day. Winning? Maybe not, but he will be a good play in driver match-ups.