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“Don’t give us none of your aggravation. We had it with your discipline. Saturday night’s all right for fighting, going to get a little action in.” The lyrics of “Saturday Night’s Alright” by legendary singer-songwriter Elton John provides a somewhat fitting preview of five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe’s Racing’s fortunes at Richmond (Va.) International Speedway – a lot of aggravation and plenty of action.
Despite the fact that Johnson has three wins – September 2008 and April and September 2007 – at the three-quarter-mile D-shaped oval, it is one of his worst tracks on the circuit in driver rating, a NASCAR statistic that combines several key categories to determine a driver’s ranking. Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway is the only track where Johnson ranks worse.
Johnson also notes that while the April night races typically don’t favor Team Lowe’s Racing, their fortunes have turned somewhat in the last three spring events with three top-10 finishes. That doesn’t guarantee a good finish, but it is typical of the No. 48 team’s “Never stop improving” attitude on tracks that prove to be a little bit more of a challenge for them.
So while there is sure to be some aggravation and action at the tight .75-mile Richmond layout for Johnson and the other 42 other drivers, one thing is for sure – “Five-Time” will never stop fighting Saturday night to make it back to victory lane. Read what he has to say:
Talk about racing at Richmond.
“It’s a night race and we have struggled in night races at Richmond. The day races are usually good. So, if it rains out and we race on Sunday, I’m optimistic. Seriously, we’ve had a top-five car there the past few times, so I’d say we are holding our own there, now.
Talk about your position in the points.
“I’m proud of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. Everyone has been performing well. I was a little surprised when I heard after the Kansas race what our gap was. But we have had a good year even with a little trouble at some tracks like Bristol. So, 37 points up on second place is pretty awesome. But there is a lot of racing left, even this weekend with Richmond. Anything can happen and that lead can go away quickly.”