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Jimmie Johnson and Chas Knaus, Hendrick Motorsport - Q&A

Yeah, well, we were here testing a couple weeks ago. We did realize there was a tyre issue. But that's not so unlike the norm. We have seen that in the past here, especially until the racetrack starts to get some rubber built up on to it that we do see tyre wear. We saw that while we were here testing. We really focused on the longer runs. 15, 20 lap runs here at the test to make sure we'd get the tyres to last as long as what we needed. Not so much worrying about the short run speed and the three, four, five laps.

Fortunately enough, what we were able to get from that is we were able to understand how to make the race car go fast at 20 laps, keep the tyres on it, and that actually translated back into a fast race car in the short run as well. So it definitely was difficult to go through all of that. And we didn't really have to change our strategy too much. We were very fortunate that as we were going through that, we knew there were going to be tyre problems. The key is to not be the first one with the tyre issue, and fortunately enough, we weren't.

Q:
What out-of-the-ordinary repairs did you have to make after yesterday's final practice, if any?

Chad Knaus:
We didn't make a whole lot of changes. We felt like we had a pretty good understanding of what the racetrack was going to do based on what we saw last fall, based on what we saw in the spring with the new GEN-6 race car, and obviously taking into consideration what we saw during the test. We didn't have to do a whole lot. We made small modifications to the race car. And, man, I was really pleasantly pleased right out of the box. Jimmie was able to go out there and pass the #99 car with relative ease just a couple laps into the race. So we hit it pretty close.

Q:
When you guys win a race like this and you're battling somebody head-to-head, this doesn't shatter their confidence, but it's a pretty big blow. Do you think this will put some extra pressure on Matt and his team going to Phoenix and going to Homestead when you have this kind of dominance over them here at Texas?

Jimmie Johnson:
I don't know. I'd like it to, but I don't. At this point of the season if you're in contention, you've got more pressure than you ever wanted to you. It's just there. So I don't know if this puts anymore. They were able to get some points on us last week. We got some on them this week, so I'm not sure.

But I know where we are and where our team is and our focus and how good of a test we had in Homestead, and we're very excited to get out to Phoenix and go racing again.

Q:
Chad, same question?

Chad Knaus:
Yeah, you know, I don't know. That's going to be interesting to see. I think Matt's the strongest player on that team. I think he's the glue that holds that thing together, so we'll just have to see what happens. I feel if we stay focused on what we've got to do, then we'll let the chips fall where they may.

Q:
You when you all came here to practice, I was here the one day and it looked like you were doing everything that any of the other teams were attempting to do. Do you try to physically hide is the wrong word, but, nevertheless, hide what you're finding? How much did the fact that Kenseth blew a tyre on the second day of that test, how much did that help you get to where you needed to be?

Chad Knaus:
I wouldn't say that we hid a whole lot. We came here with a plan and our plan was to try to understand this racetrack a little bit better. Try to know what we needed to do when we came back and what adjustments would yield a good result.

I know if I was the #20, and I came here and on my last day of testing I blew a right front tyre, I'd be nervous as hell coming back to a racetrack. So that had to have been looming over them. Quite honestly, based on what I saw at Homestead, they're probably pretty nervous about that same thing happening there. But we just came here and just did our thing. I think that's pretty classic #48. We worry about us and just kind of let everything else go the way it should.

Q:



Related Pictures

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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in 1st place Sunday, November 3, 2013 in the AAA Texas 500 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. Johnson leads The Chase in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in 1st place, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #88 Amp Energy Gold/7-Eleven finished in 2nd place Sunday, November 3, 2013 in the AAA Texas 500 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. Johnson leads The Chase and Earnhardt, Jr. is 5th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Sunday, November 3, 2013 in the AAA Texas 500 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. Johnson leads The Chase in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, celebrates with daughter Genevieve Marie and wife Chandra after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, applies the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits along with the rest of the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, races to win with Kyle Larson, driver of the 42 Target Chevrolet SS beside him finishing in eighth place Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win with a burnout Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by his Hendrik Motor Sports teammates Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS (left), Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS (center) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS (right) after his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne joins Gordon, Johnson, and Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase.  (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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