Hendrick Motorsports

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Johnson gears up for Pocono

LONG POND, Pa. (June 5, 2009) – With his fourth win at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in the rearview mirror, Jimmie Johnson is shifting his focus to Pocono Raceway. The reigning three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion knows the importance of understanding the Pennsylvania track.

Called “The Tricky Triangle,” the 2.5-mile racetrack features low banking, sharp turns and nonconforming straightaways that leave little room for error. In addition, track officials added a strip of pavement to Turn 3 last year, which alters the approach the drivers take.

“You’re so low on rpms coming off of the bottom of Turn 1 that the engine just doesn’t pull right, so that’s why you see us running higher down there now,” said Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet. “Same goes for Turn 3. When they put that piece of asphalt in, we can keep the rpms much higher and the engine in the power band to run down the straightaway if we move up (on the track). The tunnel turn is a very important turn. If you get that corner wrong, and the guy behind you gets it right, he can make a pass.”

Despite the track’s complex corners, Johnson has had relative success here. He swept the 2004 races to record his two wins at the Long Pond, Pa., track and overall has tallied five top-five finishes, nine top-10s and two pole positions in 14 Cup starts at the track.

This weekend, the No. 48 team will unload the same Lowe’s Chevrolet that Johnson drove to secure the pole position and lead 50 laps at this year’s all-star race. On Sunday, Johnson will race for his third Pocono victory after the green flag drops for the 500-mile event at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. Race coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. on TNT.