RIDGEWAY, Va. – Jimmie Johnson’s 2017 season hasn’t gotten off to the start the driver would’ve desired.
With one top-10 result to his name entering the sixth race of the season, Johnson chalked up many of his finishes to simple mistakes.
“I’ve made mistakes, the team has made mistakes, we’ve had some pit calls not work out in our favor, strategy, pit stops, so we’ve just got to stop making mistakes,” he said. “That is really where we are at.”
Ultimately, he feels good about where the Hendrick Motorsports cars are entering this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, pointing to Chase Elliott’s fast start to the season as evidence.
“I feel like our cars are in good shape,” he said. “We always want to be better. I think my car and the Hendrick cars, Chase is kind of leading the way when we should be right there with him. I think we have on pace, we just haven’t executed very well.”
Fortunately for Johnson and his teammates, this weekend's trip is to Martinsville, where Hendrick Motorsports has earned at least one win in each of the past five seasons.
The organization has team records for wins (24), top-five finishes (77), top-10s (121) and laps led (9,074) at the track. And the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS leads all active drivers in each of those four categories at Martinsville.
This Sunday, he’ll look to eliminate mistakes and take home his 10th grandfather clock trophy.
“I think we are right on the edge there of top-five, top-three car, we’ve just got to stop making mistakes and ring the bell in that area and then work forward and try to ring the bell for winning the race,” he said.
“Looking forward to a great race.”