A rainy Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway did not slow Jimmie Johnson down when he finally hit the track Monday afternoon.
Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS team continued momentum from their win at Texas Motor Speedway to find Victory Lane for the second consecutive race of the season.
“Yeah, just a really solid performance all day long, great pit stops,” Johnson said. “It was just very solid. Same thing at Texas. I think that was the piece we were lacking to start the season.”
It marks his 11th career back-to-back wins in the NASCAR Cup Series.
”I’m truly humbled,” he shared. “I’m excited to win back-to-back races. I’m excited to win at Bristol.”
IN THE GROOVE
Bristol Motor Speedway brought a new element to the track this year, a sticky compound called VHT that is used to increase traction.
Johnson shared his thoughts about how the altered surface impacted the race.
“This race without a doubt would have been single file around the top if the VHT wasn't on the bottom,” Johnson explained. “So that is a huge help to create multiple lanes of racing.”
Johnson wasn’t the only driver that noted the changes in the track. Dale Earnhardt Jr. felt that the track surface added options for the drivers.
“One of the things I noticed in the race is that the leader doesn’t seem to be trapped by the lap cars,” Earnhardt said. “As a guy that is running toward the front, you’ve got to like that.”
DRIVER INPUT IS ‘HUGE’
In preparation for every track, the driver and crew chief must work together to produce the best possible results on race day.
For Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Kanus, driver input is "huge."
“The driver inputs in these race cars are what change the pitch, the heave, the roll, the longitudinal, lateral movement of the race car,” Knaus explained. “What they do is really key.”
Knaus praised Johnson’s driving style and ability to provide feedback on the car.
“He drives with feel. He's a driver that wants to adjust, manipulate the car with his inputs, and that's great,” Knaus said. “That's what makes him such a fantastic driver.”