CONCORD, N.C. -- Jimmie Johnson is plenty familiar with Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This Sunday, he will make his second trip of the year to the West Coast track.
At the beginning of the month, Johnson represented Hendrick Motorsports as drivers tested the new rules package at Las Vegas.
The experience left him excited about what he expects to see when the NASCAR Cup Series heads to the venue this weekend.
“I think when we go to a track like Las Vegas, it’s going to put on a heck of a show,” Johnson said. “Just in the test session with 13 cars, I was four-wide multiple times in those little small races that they had.”
With two races in the books this season – the Daytona 500 and last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway – Johnson expects a different feel this Sunday.
“It’s a different type of racing to be in the pack on a 1.5-mile track,” the seven-time champion said. “Track position, I don’t know how important that’s going to be when you can pass as easily as we seem to be able to do it in Vegas. Passing the leader was a bit tricky, but it was kind of a revolving door from second on back to 13th out of the 13 cars we had there (during the test). So, there’s still a lot to learn.”
Johnson holds the all-time NASCAR Cup Series record for most wins and laps led at Las Vegas. His four wins came in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010, and he’s hungry to find Victory Lane at the track once again.
With his experience to lean on, including his familiarity with the new rules package from his test at the track, Johnson is ready to tackle this weekend’s challenge.
“You’re going to have to be comfortable in the draft and racing two- and three-wide,” he said. “I think spotters are going to get a big workout and kind of be in that restrictor-plate mindset two-thirds of the season now.”
To see how it all plays out, tune in this Sunday on FOX at 3:30 p.m. ET.