Jimmie Johnson has admitted that his #48 Chevrolet team has made more mistakes this season than he would really like.

Despite the errors though, the three-time defending series champion, still sits third in the Sprint Cup standings.

"Unlike other years, we've made more mistakes as a team," Johnson confirmed Friday ahead of this Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

"Like last week (at Sonoma), I got nailed for speeding on pit road. I've made plenty of mistakes like that this year.

"I've crashed a couple of cars that I shouldn't have too. Pit stops are clearly in our rhythm now, but we've had a couple of hiccups along the way there as well."

Given that Johnson clearly feels there's room for improvement, should Cup points leader Tony Stewart be worried?

In his first year as an owner/driver with Stewart-Haas Racing, Stewart sees it from the opposite perspective.

"I look at it this way," he said. "How scary is it for them that a new team is sitting here leading the points? That's no disrespect to them, but we feel like we've got room to gain each week, too.

"Obviously, history shows that you can never count Jimmie and that team out. I'm not sure that it scares all of us - but it doesn't scare us, because we never underestimated him to begin with."

Meanwhile Carl Edwards has conceded that what concerns him far more than his failure to find victory lane this year, is ensuring that he claims one of the twelve positions in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Edwards currently is fifth in the Cup standings, but he's only 137 points ahead of 13th-place Kasey Kahne.

Accordingly, his mindset has more to do with staying in the Chase field and not with his 30-point deficit to series victory leaders Kyle Busch and Mark Martin, who have accumulated 10 bonus points for each of their three wins.

"If I knew that I was in the Chase, and if I was leading the points right now, I'd be worried about that," said Edwards, who won a series-high nine races last year. "But those 30 points, that's the furthest thing from my mind right now.

"I mean, we could go out and win a couple and even that up and get it real close, but the key right now is not losing those 100 points you can lose in a wreck or having some sort of trouble."

by Reid Spencer


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