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

So I'm looking forward to it. I really am. I think we were in great shape last year. I think we're in as good or maybe just a pinch better shape this year, though I do feel the opponent is a little more formidable than what we had last year. So I'm excited. I really am.

I love this time of year. This is what we live for. This is what we want to do. We want to go out there and do everything we can to try to win Phoenix.

Q:
Following up on that, Rick said that you guys were both really fired up after Phoenix last year. That set maybe the tone for even this year to some extent. I guess, what were those emotions like after that race last year? Did you feel like you solved whatever caused you to run outside the Top Five with that second you had back in the spring? Do you feel like you guys are back to form with that track?

Jimmie Johnson:
Yeah, I feel much better about Phoenix this year than last going into it. I kind of lost my thought. What was the first part of your question?

Q:
It seemed like it got you guys fired up after that weekend.

Jimmie Johnson:
Yeah, there definitely was a feeling of it slipping away. I'm trying to recall the exact emotions at the time. I mean, frustrated that we blew a right front, and then rolling into Homestead, we didn't have anything to lose. We had everything to gain. That was a fun way to race down there. We found ourselves with an awesome car, awesome strategy and leading the race, then we had mechanical issues. I think we had a pit stop issue too right before that that started the downward spiral.

But there was a range of emotions, for sure. I mean, pretty disappointed leaving Phoenix to have that slip away like that and lose a big chunk of points. Rolling into Homestead, eager and ready and trying to put as much pressure on the #2 as we could. Man, we were close. We had all the pressure on them and in position, and made some mistakes.

Q:
Chad, you just mentioned a moment ago about feeling like this year's opponent Matt is a little more formidable than last year's. Why so? Can you explain that comment, please?

Chad Knaus:
I think Matt just from his personality standpoint is a little more controlled. He's a little more mature. He's been in the sport for a long time. I think he's just a little more even keel, so that makes him a little more challenging to get off kilter, off rocker, so we'll have to see how it shakes outcome Phoenix.

Q:
Yesterday during the Nationwide race, do you stop and watch the race?

Jimmie Johnson:
No, I was -

Q:
What did do you?

Jimmie Johnson:
I was in Dallas. My wife and two kids were at a great friend's house up in Dallas. So once we had our debrief, I hopped in the car and drove up there and played in the little jump house with my daughter and my God children, and tried to teach my daughter how to ride a bicycle without training wheels. She didn't hit the ground, but it didn't go very well. Luckily I caught her.

I went to Mi Casina and got some Mexican food. I was jealous of everybody else having some of those mumbo taxi margarita things that I wish that I could have. I could have one tonight, but I couldn't have one last night. So that was it. I was pretty calm.

Q:
So the training wheels worked for the most part. What would you give her, a grade A through C?

Jimmie Johnson:
Yeah, she needs a little more time with the training wheels. At three, she's not quite there yet, but we had fun for sure.

Q:
Chad, what about you? Do you stay and watch the race to see problems like the tyre issue and things like that?

Chad Knaus:



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)
Brian Scott. (Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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