Raceday: Texas

32050Jpg
Share:
Digging himself a hole in the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" and then climbing out dramatically has become routine for Jimmie Johnson.

Since the "Chase" format was introduced in 2004, Johnson has made a habit of getting off to a slow start, only to rally late in the championship season.

Unfortunately he has come up short twice before in his bid to win the NEXTEL Cup title. This year, he hopes things will be different.

He started the 2006 "Chase" in his usual fashion, with a string of bad luck, disappointments and low finishes.

But lately the No. 48 Lowe's Chevy has been in the thick of the battle, winning two weeks ago at Martinsville Speedway and scoring a runnerup finish at Atlanta last week.

"We had a lot of speed in the Chase, but unfortunately we didn't have the finishes at first to show for it," Johnson said. "Now it is coming our way.

"We will see what we can do three more times. I'm certainly optimistic, closer than I've been at this point in the 'Chase' and looking forward to the tracks I have coming up."

Those tracks start Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, where Johnson has an average career NEXTEL Cup finish of 7.0. He's scored five top-10 finishes in six career TMS starts.

With his recent surge and past record at places like Texas, Johnson has been much relieved the last few days.

"I really haven't been worried about things that worried me before," Johnson said. "I had some type of dream where I had the sensation of being a champion. I didn't have the full visual of standing on the stage or anything, but the way I've tried to use it is that everything that is going on is positive, and every thought I have about it fills me up with excitement and happiness where, in the past, I almost had nightmares.

"When I was laying there before I'd go to sleep at night, everything was kind of fear-based. This year, when I doze off and go to sleep, I'm smiling. It's a totally different mindset."

That mindset includes a never-say-die attitude, even when things looked bleak less than a month ago.

"I've never said we were out of it," Johnson said. "I think some other Chase contenders have gone on record saying that. I've just felt all along you just don't know until Homestead. I know there are guys that are 100 out and may not be considered to be in the hunt for the championship, but one bad race for anyone and you could lose 100 points."

Photos

  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
Click to View More

Advertisement

You may unsubscribe at any time.
Motor Racing Network
555 MRN Drive
Concord, NC 28027
www.mrn.com/Footer/Contact-Us.aspx
(704)262-6700
feedback@mrn.com
  • © 2016 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites