After clinching he chequered flag in an action-packed finish to Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson headed to the media centre to take questions from journalists.
Our race winner for tonight's 55th annual Coke Zero 400 is Jimmie Johnson. He drove the #48 Lowe's Dover White Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. He's joined by his crew chief Chad Knaus.
Jimmie becomes the first driver since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 in the same season.
This is Jimmie's 64th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, his fourth win in 2013 ties him with Matt Kenseth. He has a 49-point lead over Clint Bowyer in the championship point standings.
Jimmie, extremely dominant tonight. You led 94 laps. Is this one of your more overall best performances do you think, particularly at a restrictor plate track?
Yeah, I have to think so. Been in some very close battles at the end and have surged by to win. But from a laps led standpoint, this has to be the most dominant performance we've had on a plate track. Truthfully I think this Gen-6 car and the style of drafting required to be successful in this car fits my style a lot more. It's a lot like the Gen-4 car that we had. The Gen-5 and the tandem racing, although we did win at Talladega, we just didn't make it to the end of a lot of races for whatever reason.
This style of racing and track position being as important as it is and racing every lap, I don't know if it's something with the air in the draft that works better for me, or just being in the rhythm and racing so hard every lap that it makes a big difference. We've had a chance to win every plate race this year and we got two of the three. But Talladega going into the white-flag lap I felt like we were in a great position and came home with a top five or something. Been a very, very strong year on plate tracks for us.
Chad, you got here Thursday and shook the car down, practiced, et cetera, qualified. Did you know going into the race tonight that you were going to be this good?
We thought we were for sure. We didn't know exactly what was going to happen. We came down here with the mindset that we were going to do very similar to what we did for preparation for the Daytona 500 and just run single car runs. As the chance of weather started to increase for Friday, we felt like then that first practice session we needed to go out there and try to post a lap in case the weather did come in so we would get a good solid starting spot. It was evident right out of the box that the Lowe's SS was fast and we got into the draft and Jimmie was able to work and maneuver through the draft really, really well. He had some small concerns and we were able to work on those, and we just ran that first practice session and the car was good. We were really excited about it, looking forward to getting into the race. We qualified much better than actually what I had anticipated. We were in a full-on race mode, and to qualify eighth with that package, I think that speaks a lot for the Hendrick engine package that we've got and the engineering package that we've got at Hendrick Motorsports.