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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:



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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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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