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Johnson rested and looking to repeat at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (July 24, 2007) – Weekends off are rare occurrences during the lengthy NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule, which stretches from February to November.

With only three per season, Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson took advantage of the final break by traveling to Europe with his wife, Chandra.

“It’s time to relax and unwind and spend some time together,” said Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet. “As the Chase draws closer, things are going to get more and more hectic, so you take every opportunity you can for rest and relaxation.”

Johnson will get back to his routine this week, as he prepares to defend his 2006 Brickyard 400 title at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been excited to go back to Indy,” Johnson said. “I’ve always struggled there. And after our victory last year, I’m really pumped up to go back.”

Besides his winning performance last season, leading 33 laps en route to victory, Johnson’s top Indy finish came in 2002 when he finished ninth at the 2.5-mile oval.

But Johnson is trying to put 2006 in his rearview mirror, choosing to focus on the upcoming race instead of past successes.

“It’s a tough race track in general,” Johnson said. “I’ll be more concerned about the qualifying session and the race session and the things coming up [this weekend] more than anything.

“I’m sure at some point I’ll kind of look around and take in the fact that we’ve won there and how amazing that is, but I’m pretty sure my mind will be focused on what we need to do.”

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will air live Sunday on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.


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