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Johnson unsure of Daytona strategy

Posted on: February 25, 2012 3:04 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 3:10 pm

By Pete Pistone

  Jimmie Johnson, Driver Of The #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, Joey Logano, Driver Of The #20 The Home Depot Toyota, And Greg
(Johnson believes the No. 48 Chevrolet will be in both pack draft and tandem situations in the Daytona 500)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jimmie Johnson is ready to begin his quest to climb back on top the Sprint Cup Series mountain but he’s not sure what to expect in the first race of the season.

Johnson knows pack racing will be back in play for Sunday’s Daytona 500 but doesn’t believe we’ve seen the end of tandem drafting either.

He’s been intently watching the races that have gone on during Speedweeks to try and gauge how Sunday’s 500 may play out.

“It’s been fun,” Johnson said Saturday at Daytona. “When I’m watching points races like I watched the Truck race last night.  You can see the range of emotions of what happens.  We will have that same type of thing in our race.

“The Shootout is fun because there aren’t any points and you can just have at it.  But, when the points are on the line the pack racing can be frustrating.  The tandem racing can be frustrating; I think it is plate racing.  We are at a plate track and tomorrow afternoon throughout the race you will see a lot of emotions that aren’t excited about plate racing.  Fans love it, it puts on a great show and that is what you have to do to win the Daytona 500.”

While his teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. has publicly dismissed the idea of hanging back in the field for most of the race before hooking up with Johnson in a two-car draft to the front, the five-time champion won’t completely rule out that strategy.

“That chance is there,” Johnson said.  “The one thing about this package is that track position is important from a handling perspective and a cooling perspective.  I think on any restart you will see a lot of activity just trying to get track position and be in the right scenario for those reasons.

“Once we settle into a groove I would expect a lot of patience out of people.  We know that you can’t win the race in the first 499 miles.  That element could be there.  The one thing that does change that is the deeper in the pack you are the easier your car is going to overheat.  It can go either way I just don’t know at this time what to really expect.”

Daytona Speedweeks

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: February 27, 2012 7:21 am

Johnson unsure of Daytona strategy

They have to have pack racing.  If they didn't, Dale Earnhardt Jr wouldn't have much of a chance to win anywhere.  NASCAR would be stupid to stop the only kind of racing where DEJ is superior to the rest of the drivers.  They simply can't afford to have their most popular driver not come close to winning.  

Since Daytona is their "Super Bowl," and it is the race most-watched, NASCAR can put their best foot, i.e. DEJ, forward in front of their largest audience of the year.  Whether or not he actuall wins one of the plate races is inconsequential.  It is more important that he is able to compete and be near the front most of the time.   The more they say his name on TV, the happier the fans are, and the better it is for NASCAR.

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:36 pm

Johnson unsure of Daytona strategy

no pack racing .. just a parade..

Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: February 25, 2012 4:28 pm

Johnson unsure of Daytona strategy

Ahhh poor jimmy no one to push him to the win anymore. Looks like ole chad will have to find anither way to cheat!!!!

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