CONCORD, N.C. -- While their ticket to Homestead is already punched, Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and the No. 48 Lowe's team have no intentions of just sitting back and relaxing the next two races of the Round of 8.
This weekend's race is at a track where Johnson has had much success -- including six wins, 14 top-five finishes, 20 top-10s and one pole position -- and the driver will look to continue the success he has had late this season.
"That is one of our favorite racetracks," Chad Knaus said of Texas Motor Speedway. "We're encouraged to go there. I really do want to go win that racetrack because it's such a great Jimmie vintage No. 48‑style racetrack. The tires fall off, there's a lot of moving around, there's pit strategy, there's track position, there's driver line commitments. There are a lot of things that play into that race, which is a ton of fun for us."
Johnson has won the last four fall races at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth oval.
"We'll go to Texas and try to do the best we possibly can for Lowe's and all of our corporate partners and everybody on the 48 team," Knaus said. "If we can go and run in the top five at Texas and run in the top five at Phoenix, that just shows the strength of the team and brings us into that last race with a little bit of high stepping."
Johnson said that momentum is a big factor for the No. 48 Lowe's team moving forward through the next two races and into Homestead.
"Just the big takeaway for us over these next two weeks could be momentum," the driver said. "If we can run up front or win again, I mean, that's just huge momentum for the team. That's the big thing we have that could work for us going to Homestead."
For Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, the win at Martinsville was a big relief, knowing that Johnson was locked into the Championship 4.
"It means it takes a lot of pressure off right now, I tell you, just having the win, just like Charlotte, to advance into that round," Hendrick said. "We're really looking forward to Texas because that's a really good track for Jimmie. But to win here and know we're locked into Homestead, it's a great relief."
Heading into Texas this weekend, Hendrick agreed with Knaus and Johnson that momentum is now on the team's side.
"We're just excited about the momentum that we have now going to Homestead," Hendrick said. "We've got a couple good tracks coming up, so we're looking forward to it."