|Jimmie Johnson is 12/1 to win at Chicago, 10/1 to win Sprint Cup.|
“Chicago is a great place to start off the Chase. It’s a great market and a good track where we’ve run pretty well. I’ve wanted to win there so bad for (No. 48 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus) since it’s his hometown track. We’ve been close at Chicago a few times but ended up giving them away. For the next 10 weeks, we are in championship focus. We learned a lot last year from this format and we need to be there at the cutoffs and also to be there at the end at Homestead. We need to run well every week. There is a lot of effort going on to make this chase for our seventh championship.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JIMMIE: Jimmie Johnson will turn 41 years old on Saturday, Sept. 17. The El Cajon, California, native will pilot the blue-colored Lowe’s paint scheme this weekend for the first race of the Chase.
CHICAGO TEST: Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and the No. 48 team participated in a one-day test at Chicagoland Speedway on Aug. 23 in preparation for this weekend’s event.
HOME TRACK FOR CHAD: Knaus was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, approximately 106 miles north of Joliet. Knaus made a name for himself racing Late Model Stock cars at Rockford Speedway with his father, John. Knaus graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Rockford.
JOHNSON’S SECOND TRI: On just a few hours’ sleep after finishing 11th at Richmond International Raceway, Johnson participated in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Lake Davidson Triathlon on Sunday, Sept. 11, in Davidson, North Carolina. Johnson won his age group, and finished 12th overall out of 301 people.
LA MEDIA TOUR: Johnson will visit the Los Angeles area on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Chicago. He will make an appearance on "The Late, Late Show with James Corden," "Access Hollywood," NBC’s "The Superstore" and make a visit to FOX.
CHASE SEED: Johnson enters the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the No. 8 seed thanks to his two wins during the regular season. This is his 13th postseason berth, making Johnson the only driver to have made the Chase every year.
WINLESS IN CHICAGO: Even though Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s team have led 577 laps at Chicago and own seven top-five finishes, the 1.5-mile track remains one of the four venues on the current Sprint Cup schedule where Johnson has yet to score a win. The others are Kentucky, Watkins Glen and Homestead-Miami.
CHICAGO DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Johnson has the series-best driver rating at Chicago with a score of 114.1 during the past 10 years at the track. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.