TALLADEGA, Ala. – To say Jimmie Johnson has started the 2015 season on a hot streak would be an understatement.
His average finish through 10 races is just outside of the top-10 – 11.0. And that’s factoring in two races that saw him finish 35th and 41st due to on-track incidents.
In total, Johnson has seven top-10 finishes and six top-five finishes already this season.
After Sunday’s second-place result at Talladega Superspeedway, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS now has earned four consecutive top-three results.
“Awesome day for this Lowe’s Chevrolet, great pit stops and just a solid performance and a great month for us,” he said after the race. “If we really look at it I think our worst finish this month has been third.”
At Talladega, Johnson raced teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. hard for the lead down the stretch, attempting to work with a pack of cars to push toward the front.
“We did break away. We had a seven‑ or eight‑car breakaway, a pretty good gap to the next group,” Johnson said. “I think our small breakaway, there wasn't a lot of energy in that group to create a pass for the lead.”
Ultimately the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS held him off.
“He had a really fast car -- I wasn’t going to be able to go up there and just take it away from him,” Johnson said. “Very happy with the finish. I didn't mess it up. I don't know what I could have done differently to win. Certainly tried.”
Johnson congratulated his teammate and noted the importance of the result for the Nos. 48 and 88 race shop.
“From a team dynamic, I'm real happy,” he said. “It strengthens our race shop. To finish one-two with the cars, the morale boost it gives the company, our shop, that's where my mindset is.”
And it continued a dominant month for the No. 48 team.
“We got a great finish for this Lowe's Chevrolet,” Johnson said. “We put the engine through a lot of hot situations today, so a big thanks to Valvoline -- an awesome oil they put in this race car. An awesome day all-around. Great pit stops; fast race car. A lot of Hendrick cars up there. I am very proud to be in a Hendrick car."