Saturday, May 17, 2014

Jimmie Johnson Confident Heading Into Tonight's All-Star Race

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs   
by Stacey Owens

Usually at this point in the season, Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe's Racing team have a couple of wins to their credit and drive into Charlotte Motor Speedway with momentum.

Though the wins haven't come yet this season, Johnson, who will attempt to win the All-Star Race for the third consecutive year, maintains that he's heading into tonight's All-Star event with confidence.

"Every weekend's a new weekend. It's a new track. Even if you go from a mile-and-a-half to another mile-and-a-half, they're so different in how they drive and the setup that's required. It is nice. You can start on a clean sheet of paper and hit the racetrack and go.

"Momentum that you do carry is, I think, noticeable maybe on Friday, opening practice, qualifying. By the time you get to the race, you're dealing with that weekend's circumstances. Just because you won the previous race or many races beforehand doesn't change things on that given race day."

Johnson was asked whether he feels there's anything that's out-of-bounds in the All-Star Race. Each week carries a "drivers have it" mentality that could vary somewhat in this non-points events. Johnson maintains that this particular race "definitely changes things."

"I think people are willing to take more risks and opportunities if they're there. Again, you're really looking from second to first. I think second place, if he's in reaching distance of the leader, will certainly do what he can for $1 million and no implications in points," Johnson said.

"From fifth to fourth, it doesn't pay much. Why are you going to risk making the guy in fourth mad? He's going to come after you the following week. Given the race format, I think it certainly can make things exciting."

Race fans will see how exciting things get this evening as the All-Star Race drops the green flag drops at 9:26 p.m. EST.

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