New Hampshire International Speedway Preview
Lowe’s Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series travel to New Hampshire International Speedway for Sunday’s race on the mile oval. The 2006 Nextel Cup Champion finished 17th in Sunday’s race in Infineon Raceway and is third in the 2007 points race trailing Jeff Gordon by 337 points.
Johnson will drive the Chevrolet Impala SS in the eighth race of the season for the “Car of Tomorrow.” Johnson’s four victories equal Gordon’s as the most for any driver in 2007. Johnson swept both races at NHIS in 2003.
Sunday will mark Johnson’s 200th start in Nextel Cup racing. Johnson started his first race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 7, 2001. He started 15th and finished 39th. Since then he has gone on to win a championship as well as 27 races giving him sole possession of 22nd place on the all-time victory list since 1949.
DRIVER JIMMIE JOHNSON QUOTES:
NEW HAMPSHIRE INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: “We always put a lot of time and effort into the race at New Hampshire. This race is really important because it gets you ready for the second one, which is the first race of the Chase. So running well this weekend and when we come back is pretty important.”
NHIS CHALLENGES: “It’s not really one thing. I think you’ve got a few factors at Loudon to deal with. It’s a short sprint race on a short track. Luck, in not being caught up in any incidents, plays a key role in that. At the same time, if we have a strong car we can control our own destiny. Our goal is always to win practice, win the pole and lead every lap. Anything less means there is work to do.”
TWO HUNDREDTH START: “That’s hard to believe. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago I was making my first start at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. I’m very proud of our success. I might be the happiest person in the garage. A lot of people have played a role in my career and I’ll never be able to repay their kindness. I’m looking forward to the next 200 races.”
Johnson will drive chassis 424 at New Hampshire this weekend. This chassis won at Richmond on May 6. Chassis 413 will serve as the backup. This chassis finished 16th at Bristol and third at Darlington.
New Hampshire International Speedway
In 10 starts, Johnson has completed 2,848 of 2,915 laps. He owns an average starting spot of 8.5 and average finish of 11.7. He has led 73 laps. He won both New Hampshire races in 2003.
Johnson and teammate Jeff Gordon are the only drivers with four victories.
Chevrolet has won 13 of the season’s 16 races.
Hendrick Motorsports has won 10 of the season’s 16 races.
Hendrick Motorsports has won 5 of the 7 “Car of Tomorrow “races.
Johnson has led in 10 of 16 races for 668 laps in 2007.
Johnson has won at least three 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 six full-time seasons.
Johnson’s victory at Richmond on May 6 was the 27th of his Nextel Cup career. This win gives him sole possession of 22nd place on the list for most victories since 1949.
Johnson’s owns nine poles in his career. He has won a pole in each of his first five seasons – the longest streak among active drivers.
In 199 starts, Johnson has posted 74 top-5 finishes and 119 top-10 finishes. He has a top-10 finish at every track on the NASCAR Nextel Cup series circuit. Kansas is the only track where he has not posted a top-five finish. Johnson has led 4,864 laps and driven 57,305 laps in his Nextel Cup career covering over 76,566 miles. He has finished on the lead lap 151 times. He owns a career average start of 12.4 and an average finish of 12.3.