NASCAR » 30 September 2013
Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, Hendrick Motorsports - Q&A
The way we ran in New Hampshire, as Chad pointed out, we had an awesome pit stop, came off pit road in third, the #9 and the #15 stayed out, put us in a position of having control of the front row.
I think we could have won is what I'm getting at. If we even lined up fourth, had a bad stop, I think we would have gotten through those guys and had a chance to win.
The short tracks, Loudon, Phoenix, have been a concern for us. The way we ran in Loudon, we honestly feel we had a shot to win there. That will carry over to Phoenix. We have a good lineup of races ahead.
Jimmie, I don't know if this makes up for what happened in the spring, but does it make it feel a little bit better just to come back to the same place where you were so disappointed and pissed?
It doesn't change that too much. It's nice to win, not have something like that take it away. I'm just happy there's been a rule change to the restarts. It was a long time coming and needed to happen.
That situation can't happen again. I'm happy about that.
But it still stings. I can remember the majority of the races we should have won. I think drivers are like that. You just hate little stupid things that keep you from getting to Victory Lane.
You both have competed against Matt in previous Chases. This is the first time you've competed against him with him at Gibbs. Can you talk about what you see, if anything, different about him this season and how that is shaping up in this championship battle.
He's always been incredible at scoring points and getting the most out of his racecar on a given weekend. It doesn't let emotions rattle him much. That part of Matt has always been a consistent thing.
In his previous life at Roush, there were certain tracks you went to, you wouldn't think about him. Martinsville would be one. I would tease and harass him about how he looked on the track. We were there testing one time, had some good laughs about it all. I say that, we go there this spring, I think he ran top five or something.
The change has been good for him. Is it equipment? Is it a personnel thing, working with someone new and different, that relationship? I don't know where it lies. But I think the bottom side, the tracks Matt struggled at, for whatever reason, that has risen, and he's more competitive on those tracks than he was at the Roush side of life.
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