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

I'll be honest, when Stevie and those guys took four tyres, I felt like, Damn, that was a missed opportunity, we should have taken four. But it definitely paid off for us.

Q:
Jimmie, a similar question, but if you could talk about what was going through your mind knowing that Junior had the four tyres, said this is one of the best cars he's had all season.

Jimmie Johnson:
Yeah, he was fast. I'm not sure how much pit road early in the race, that couldn't have helped their overall cause. He worked his way back around, up into the mix of things there.

What I saw of his car on four tyres earlier in the race, he was pretty quick. That was really our weakest point, was the first five to ten laps, then our car would come in and was incredibly fast at that point.

I didn't want to lose control at the end of the race with 20 some to go and all that. So the pressure was on.

I ran my guts out to stay ahead of him. Any switch I could flip in the car that was a fan that might help the car turn my brake bias, everything and anything I could twist, turn, pull, push, I did, then just drove the shit out of that thing. Was able to keep him at bay for 10, 12 laps. At that point I was able to stretch a little bit and get back to running a smart race.

That opening 10, 12 laps was a pressure-packed situation.

Q:
Not only is Jimmie the all-time winner here, he's the all-time winner at seven tracks. Can you talk about what that speaks to?

Chad Knaus:
The man's got a lot of skills.

It's been an honor to be able to work with Jimmie over the course of the years. I think he's able to pull out some things that are pretty spectacular. He's able to dig deeper, pull out his cape, make things happen in winning moments of these races that other people cannot do. It's pretty spectacular.

I've seen a lot of great drivers, worked with a lot of great drivers. Knowing what we've got sitting behind the seat is always a little bit of confidence, knowing if you get close, if you make the right call at the right time, he's going to be able to carry the ball.

Once again, I think Jimmie is probably the most underrated champion we have in this industry. He is by far and above the most powerful driver over the course of the last 25, 35 years in this sport. It's pretty fun being able to work with him.

Jimmie Johnson:
Thanks, man (laughter).

Q:
Jimmie, for a while you, Kyle and Matt were top three. For most of the race y'all were somewhere in the top five. Either part of that motivational, give you more drive to do better? Was any part of that a cool factor?

Jimmie Johnson:



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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career win with a victory lap and checkered flag, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, celebrates after taking the chequered flag during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS SS, qualifies for second position Friday, March 18, 2016 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick will be joined on the front row by pole setter Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

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