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Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsport - Q&A

Jimmie Johnson claimed his fourth win of 2013 in this week's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, extending his already formidable lead in the championship standings.
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.

Q:
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.

Q:
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?

Jimmie Johnson:
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.

Q:
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?

Chad Knaus:
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.

Q:



Related Pictures

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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe’s Dover White Chevrolet SS celebrates his win by waving the chequered flag in front of fans at Daytona International Speedway Saturday, July 6, 2013 in the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona, Florida. Team Chevy drivers took the top three finishing spots and seven of the top ten.  (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Dover White Chevrolet, celebrates with the chequered flag as he performs a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe’s Dover White Chevrolet SS talks with his crew after winning the eighth pole position during qualifying Friday, July 5, 2013 at Daytona International Speedway for Saturday`s Coke Zero 400 in Daytona, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe’s Dover White Chevrolet SS celebrates his win with his crew and team in the Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway Saturday, July 6, 2013 in the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona, Florida. Johnson became the first driver to win both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races at Daytona International Speedway in the same season in 31 years. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett for Chevrolet)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, center, celebrates with team owner Rick Hendrick, left, daughter Ella Sophia and wife Ingrid Vandebosch by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars into the pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The Richard Childress Racing #3 Chevrolet Nationwide Series car driven by Ty Dillon. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, qualifies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualified 2nd fastest Saturday, July 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Next to him on the front row will be pole winner Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, was the fastest qualifier Saturday, July 26, 2014 to capture the pole position for Sunday`s Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Crew chief Chad Knaus inspects the car of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, after a crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, crashes in the early part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones in action in the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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