Friday, August 2, 2013

Johnson hopes for another Pocono sweep

Credit: Todd Warshaw for NASCAR  
In this Sunday's GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway, Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet will don the Disney Planes paint scheme, something that Johnson says is good for everyone involved, and has seemed to have brought him success in the past.

"It's great to have them on the car," Johnson says of the Disney cartoon paint scheme. "It gets my daughter excited. The way I became a fan was going to the race track as a kid and if we can capture young eyes and have them watch a race for whatever reason, if it's a cartoon that they enjoy or a movie from Disney that they enjoy it's helpful," said Johnson from Pocono's media center on Friday.

It seems to be helpful for Johnson too. "We have had very fast race cars when we have had the Disney movies on our race car."

Johnson took the win after starting second in last spring's race at Dover in which he carried the Disney's Madagascar 3 paint scheme.

With a record-breaking lap of 49.819 seconds at a speed of 180.654mph during qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono, Johnson is coming off of a second-place finish at Indianapolis last weekend, in addition to his four wins this season. Sunday's pole start will be Johnson's second of the season and his 12th top-10 start in 2013.

Sitting first in points, 75 points ahead of Clint Bowyer, Johnson explains it's nice to have the points lead, but he still has his eyes on a few other cars he thinks will become competition in the Chase.

"I think race wins sends a really strong message, too, especially late in the regular season," he said.

Sunday's GoBowling.com 400 is the 21st race of the season, just six races away from the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and Johnson has a lot to be excited about.

When Johnson visited Pocono in June, he swept the weekend, taking home the race win after starting from the pole. Johnson told the media he has always felt Pocono is an easier track to earn a sweep because the track doesn't change a lot between the first and second races.

"It would be awesome to have two sweeps in a year if that is possible this weekend," Johnson said.

In addition to the special paint scheme, actor Dane Cook, who voices the character of Dusty in Disney's Planes, will serve as the Grand Marshal of the August 4th race, in celebration of the movie's August 9th release.


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