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Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, Hendrick Motorsports - Q&A

No, it's good. The fact of the matter is this: I feel like in Chicago if we hadn't had a botched-up little pit stop there at the first part of the race - some of our doing, a little of assistance - I feel like we could have won the race in Chicago, which we're hoping to do at some point before I retire.

I feel like last week in Loudon if we could have ever gotten control of the event, which we had great opportunity. Got jumbled up on some restarts, couldn't get to where we needed to, we could have beaten him there.

I feel we had cars capable of winning the first two races, like the #20 and #18. Coming into this event we felt we had a good racecar. Brought the same racecar we had in the spring. We obviously ran really well in the spring.

Being able to come in here, qualify respectably, go out and lead the most laps, win this race, speaks volumes about this team.

What we're doing right now is we are just trying to establish a foundation and set ourselves up for the second half of the Chase. As long as we do that, we're going to be where we need to be.

Q:
Chad, when you realized behind you was somebody on four tyres, I assume you were thinking there was going to be a bigger buffer, did you feel like you had enough laps that they wouldn't factor in? Did you think, We're screwed?

Chad Knaus:
Second part (laughter).

No, here is the situation. If you look back over the history of this race, we even saw at the beginning of the event today, the #18 car was able to go out there on two tyres, establish a lead on two tyres versus the guys on four, took 27 laps for somebody to catch the #18 car and pass them. We felt like with 20 something laps to go in this race, we would probably be okay if we could make it happen.

Now, fortunately enough for the #88, they were able to get broken free of the guys who were on two tyres pretty quickly. But we did a lot of due diligence yesterday trying to understand where our car was, what we needed to do with the KOBALT Chevrolet to make it fast for Jimmie if we did get ourselves in a position where we needed to do two tyres. We understood what we needed to do. We made those changes. Jimmie told me after the race, he felt like that was the best the car was on the short run.

We ran our fastest laps right there at the end of the race, on two tyres. We ran some twenty-three fifties which was really fast. We worked hard and tried to understand what we needed to do for strategy, and fortunately it paid off for us.

Q:
Are you surprised more people didn't go with that?

Chad Knaus:
I was surprised. I thought more people would have taken two tyres towards the end of the race. We saw guys early in the race take two tyres, get track position, maintain that without having clean air. So I expected a little bit more of a buffer.




Related Pictures

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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, celebrates victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, September 29 2013 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Pixelcrisp)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 29, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 29, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory with his crew chief, Chad Knaus, right, Sunday, September 29, 2013 winning the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Johnson becomes Dover`s All-Time winner with his 8th victory on the track. The win puts him in second place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with third place finisher Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, races to a third place finish Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 24, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, pulls out of the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 24, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a third place finish Sunday, July 19, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour ENERGY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 19, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, July 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on July 11, 2015 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS races to a ninth place finish in front of Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet SS, who finishes in seventh place Saturday, July 11, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in eighth place Saturday, July 11, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position, Friday, July 10, 2015, for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. Positions are based on practice times since the qualifying session was cancelled due to inclement weather. Johnson is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Following in second place is Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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