NASCAR » 04 November 2013
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.
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?
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?
It seemed like it got you guys fired up after that weekend.
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.
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?
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.
Yesterday during the Nationwide race, do you stop and watch the race?
No, I was -
What did do you?
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.
So the training wheels worked for the most part. What would you give her, a grade A through C?
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.
Chad, what about you? Do you stay and watch the race to see problems like the tyre issue and things like that?
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