Jimmie Johnson is rolling again. Gathering 10 points for each NASCAR Sprint Cup win results in a better position during the Chase, which may be critical to winning the next championship. The No. 48 team, LENOX Industrial Tools, 301 win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway today could end up being needed points for the finale in Homestead.
The top three drivers at Loudon—Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch —shared their words before the green flag and after the checkered flag.
Johnson talked about short track racing, Stewart pondered work every week, and Busch mentioned getting it done in the Chase.
FYI WIRZ is the swift presentation of pertinent motorsports topics compiled and condensed by Dwight Drum @ Racetake.com
Jimmie Johnson [No. 48 Chevrolet]
"Definitely excited for New Hampshire,” Johnson said. “It's been a good track for us and hopefully we can get back to victory lane. If not, then I'm expecting a good top-five run up there. Hopefully we can learn a lot there this weekend that will prepare us for the Chase."
"There is so little grip here; track position is very important because of clean air,” Johnson said. “You need the entire race track to make a good lap time. And if you get mired in traffic and it just gets really frustrating.
"Well, he (Kurt Busch) didn't wreck me so I've got to give him that. And it is short track racing so I knew something was going to come. I didn't think I would get hit that hard. So you race people how they race you and I know he didn't try dumping me, but he came awfully close. So I just thought about it when I caught him, I thought well, I hope I don't dump him, but I'm definitely going to get into him.
“This Lowe's team has been working so hard to just have what we need when the Chase comes around and to win at a Chase track in the spring or the first time we go to one, gives us a lot of confidence coming back.”
Tony Stewart [No. 14 Chevrolet]
“When it starts getting hot and humid and the tracks get hot and slippery, that’s what we like,” Stewart said. “When guys can’t hold it wide open and they can’t sit there on high-grip tracks and they actually have to drive these things—that’s when we start getting fast.”
“Today is over and we have to start tomorrow for next week,” Stewart said “Everybody talks about momentum and it's a theory, I guess, in all reality. Still doesn't matter what we did today or last week or two weeks ago when it comes time next Friday to go on the racetrack, we have got to do our job and do it right. Just seems like if you start doing things right. It's just a situation where you have to go out and keep working each week and trying to make your stuff better and better. “
Kurt Busch [No. 2 Dodge]
“I think New Hampshire reminds me a little bit of Phoenix,” Busch said. “I’ve always liked Phoenix and the racing there a lot and have had quite a few miles around that track. The way that you have to slide a car around on a flat track like that requires a loose setup and that’s the way I like to set my cars up.”
“We are in the mix but there's guys that are stronger than us,” Busch said. “I'm not going to say that we have it all sorted out. There's some areas of our team that I can rate as a B+ instead of an A. Once we correct some of these, whether it's just pit calls during the race or trying to make the car faster or whether it's a little bit in the motor department, you look at all areas and try to make it better."
“The 48 is strong. I was hoping to beat them today with some raw short-track racing. He beat us with raw speed. We just need a little bit more of that down the stretch run here, and stay away from those bad days. You finish 32nd one week, you finish third the next week, that's 35 divided by two, what's that? 17 and a half; that's our average finish the last two races. That doesn't get it done in the Chase.”
Photo credit: Dwight Drum @ Racetake.com