Defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson says he is 'feeling good' about the third round of the NASCAR season this weekend in Las Vegas as he seeks to kick-start his championship campaign.
Johnson currently lies down in 19th place in the standings following the first two races of the year but will debut a new chassis in what will be the first race on a 1.5 mile oval this season.
Although he finished 29th at the venue last year, Johnson held an impressive average finish of 12.4 on the 1.5 mile circuits through the 2008 campaign and he admitted that Vegas will give a good idea on how a team will run on similar circuits later in the year.
"I think it is,” he said. “I think that you know where we need a little bit of work and help on is the high-banked 1.5-mile tracks and Vegas is kind of in that middle stage. Flat tracks like we showed here last fall, big flat tracks we've got a great set up. It's more the Charlotte, Atlanta, Texas-style tracks. So I think Atlanta will be a good yardstick for the #48 car. Texas is pretty early if I remember right. Those two tracks in particular are the ones that I feel we need to get better at.
“If I look at Chicago, we got beat there on the last lap but it was on a restart and I went up and took the lead from the #18 so I feel really good about the Vegas, Kansas, Chicago-style tracks. It's just the ones with more banking that we need a little bit more work."
Johnson has won on three occasions at Las Vegas in the past.