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Johnson on the cover of SI this week

Johnson on the cover of SI this week

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -  Jimmie Johnson appears on the cover of this week’s Oct. 17, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated, which will hit newsstands Wednesday. It is the second time Johnson has appeared on the cover. His last appearance was on the Nov. 24, 2008, issue, which also was the last motor sports cover of SI.

Click here to see the full cover and learn more about the story in which senior writer Lars Anderson (@LarsAndersonSI) shadowed Johnson and the rest of the No. 48 team for three days prior to Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway.

Inside Sports Illustrated reports the following among the quotes that Anderson collected from Johnson last weekend:

On how he likes his chances in the Chase (Friday morning): “People wrote us off just two weeks ago, but man, we are coming on. This is our time of the year, and I just can’t wait to get out there and flex some muscle.”

On overcoming his 19th-place qualifying time (Saturday morning): “It’s so hard to pass this year simply because of how the cars are built. On a green flag run sometimes I’ll only be able to pick off two or three guys. Chad and I spent a lot of time last night trying to figure out what to do.”

On the secret to his win (Sunday evening): “The changes we made to the car during the weekend meant everything. I think my stress level is close to an all-time high. This was a great step forward, but we have to keep it going.”