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CONCORD, N.C. -- Racing returns this weekend, as The Clash exhibition race will go on under the lights at Daytona International Speedway Saturday evening.

Jimmie Johnson, for one, can't wait to get back behind the wheel.

"I'm really excited," he said. "I've had a wonderful offseason. Recharged, tuned-in, ready to get back to work with my guys."

As the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion, Johnson knows the challenges that lie ahead as he and the No. 48 team look to repeat.

But he's ready for the test that lies ahead.

"I'm excited to get going and excited for whatever '17 brings," he said. "Setting realistic goals, I think we should be one of the final four. That's just what our team is capable of. If we get eight, who knows, but we're going to have a lot of fun all the way to Homestead."

For more from Johnson on his 2017 expectations, check out the video above.