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

The slow pit stop that left you fifth on that cycle, was there any worry that losing your track position would cost you or that you wouldn't be able to rally from that even with a good car?

Jimmie Johnson:
Yeah, I knew we were going to lose some time. I thought if I had a big enough lead I'd be all right and still come out first or second. But I guess those guys pitted laps before we did and made up more time on track than what we lost on pit road, and that became more evident to me as I was getting through them pretty quick.

So I got to second pretty quick, and just as I got by Brad, the caution came out, so that was a challenging point in the race for me. And it was nice to have it because I realised how good of a car we had and got a little experience passing some cars and got an idea if we did lose track position, the adjustment we needed to make.

Q:
Jimmie and Chad, a year ago you left here up seven. I'm curious do you feel any better about this year or worse about this year on how you're doing and also considering Kenseth and the competition?

Jimmie Johnson:
Yeah, I mean, we learn lessons each and every year. I know when I go to Phoenix the balance of the car and what I had felt last year led to a blown right front tyre. So we'll show up there and make sure that from my standpoint and what I feel and what Chad sees with tyre pressures and temps and the overall balance of the car that we don't overwork that right front tyre.

I feel better about Phoenix, honestly, than I did last year leaving here. Then last year we did not test Homestead and we just came back from Homestead, and that test went really well. So I'm optimistic. I feel good. But, man, it's so weird because I've been in position before where I've had these amazing sensations and feelings that a championship was going to happen, and we were able to do it for those five years in a row.

There were other years where I had those feelings, and it didn't happen. I think 2004, we had everything going our way it seemed like, and it didn't happen. Last year was another good example of us taking control late in the Chase, and then that ended with two bad races.

I guess the lesson in all of that is I'm not counting on anything, and I have to go to Phoenix and race, same as Homestead. It does simplify things a little bit. I'm not going to get too excited about things during the course of the week. I'm going to work real hard and train my butt off. Stay in this little world that I've been living in for the last five or six months, but more so the last eight weeks, and show up ready to go these next two weeks.

Q:
Do you feel any different being seven points ahead this year compared to last year based on how you're doing? And the fact that you're facing this with a guy who has won the title before?

Chad Knaus:
No, I don't think there is a big difference. I think you guys have seen it time and time again. We really focus on what it is we need to do. We can all say that Phoenix was the culprit last year why we didn't win the championship. The fact of the matter is we had a mechanical problem at Homestead that took us out of it. If we had won Phoenix and went to Homestead and still had a mechanical problem, we'd have lost the championship.




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)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, poses with the trophy in Victory Lane with wife Samantha and son Brexton Locke after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, places the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a ninth place finish Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place 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)
A detailed view of the Brickyard 400 trophy prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, take the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota, and David Ragan, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, stand on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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