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Jimmie Johnson and the Lowe's Racing team head back west to the Sin City for the second race in the southwest tour, the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With four wins, five top-fives and seven top-tens, Johnson sits atop the winners list at the 1.5-mile track.
Currently fifth in standings, and only 12 points behind points leader and Hendrick teammate Dale Jr., Johnson looks to improve his position by taking his No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevy SS to victory lane in the Kobalt sponsored race.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, DRIVER, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS, (ON RACING AT LAS VEGAS.): “We are looking forward to the opportunity for the extra test day in Vegas. With all the rule changes, we really need that time on these types of tracks to figure some things out. Again, this weekend will be pretty interesting. Plus this race is sponsored by Lowe’s /KOBALT so we want to do well for KOBALT and keep that trophy in house. We were very focused at the end of 2013 to closeout ’13 strong. We didn’t participate in the test sessions that took place at Charlotte Motor Speedway on 2014 package. We knew it would hurt us a little bit at the start of the year and there’s a little bit of that there. So as you can imagine we are really looking forward to the test on Thursday.”
JOHNSON (ON THE NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT.): “I watch Formula 1 qualifying all the time and love it – they use the same type of style qualifying – and it really will play to my benefit. It’s probably pretty exciting on TV and it’s an opportunity to work on things. Yes, you are on the time clock and there is not really any room for mistakes or being disorganized – you have to have a strategy. But it’s helpful when you don’t have to go out there and make one perfect lap the first time. You can see what others are doing and work on your own laps. I really like it.”
CHAD KNAUS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 KOBALT CHEVROLET SS (ON VEGAS.): “We obviously always want to do well when we come to Vegas. It’s important when the sponsor of the race is the sponsor on your car, so you always want to do well with all your sponsors at the track. This test is also going to be very important to the No. 48 team. We are a little behind from the teams who didn’t have to focus on winning a championship. ”
Fun Facts for Las Vegas:
Johnson ranks first in the driver rating category at Las Vegas with a score of 112.3.
Johnson has the Cup Series’ best average running position (9.553) during the last nine races at Las Vegas, according to NASCAR’s loop data statistics. During that same timeframe, Johnson has led the most laps (408 total) and averaged the best finish (9.0) among his peers.
Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-824 for Las Vegas. Johnson drove this car to a sixth-place result last October at Kansas Speedway. The backup car for Vegas is Chassis No. 48-784 which Johnson raced three times in 2013, including to Victory Lane in the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway