CONCORD, N.C. – Jimmie Johnson certainly doesn’t have any trouble telling the time in his home.
After all, he’s got nine grandfather clocks in his “man cave.”
Johnson has earned nine of the sought-after trophies for a win at Martinsville Speedway, tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for the third-most all-time at the Virginia short track.
“It’s probably one of the top three or top five trophies any driver wants to win,” Johnson said of the grandfather clocks. “I’ve got a great collection of them and they mean a lot to me and they always catch people’s eye when they see them. So, I’m very proud of them and hope to get more.”
Johnson’s most recent win at Martinsville came in 2016, and since then he has earned four top-15 finishes at the venue.
In order to reach Victory Lane again this weekend, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion said that the “time and work and effort” Hendrick Motorsports has been putting into improving on the track will need to continue.
“It’s not where I want to be, or (Hendrick Motorsports owner) Mr. (Rick) Hendrick or (No. 48 team crew chief) Kevin (Meendering) or this whole team,” Johnson said of on-track performance. “We’re trying to celebrate the small victories but at the same time if you look at the speed that the No. 18 had on the field and his ability to pass, we want that. And we’re not going to stop until we get that.”
At Martinsville in particular, Johnson said restarts will be key in order to find success.
“When you get close to somebody you have to capitalize and get by and not lose momentum,” he explained. “As soon as you lose momentum, you literally just stall out wherever that is in the running order.”
So far this season, Johnson has secured two top-10 finishes.
He’s ready to add to those statistics this weekend in Virginia.
“We’ve put a lot of effort in and it’s just frustrating to not get the results as quick as we want,” he said. “But we’ll head there optimistic once again and with a lot of new stuff on the cars and see if it works.”