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CONCORD, N.C. – Jimmie Johnson is currently seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series standings heading into the second race of the playoffs this weekend.

During his time with the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson discussed the importance of the bonus points that can be accumulated even before the checkered flag waves -- in Stages 1 and 2.

“Those bonus points are huge,” he said. “We had a white board with points earned on last weekend’s race and you would think that an eighth-place finish would yield a fair amount of points, but we didn’t score any stage points. I can’t remember exactly now, but we didn’t leave the track with the eighth-most points scored.”

With only one stage win this season, Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s team have felt the impact of the new points system.

“I think we are all living it first-hand,” Johnson said. “I think we understood the concept, but now that it is in your face and you live it day-to-day and kind of obsess over it, I think it is making it much more apparent to myself and others how important those stage points are.”

“Without a doubt this is going to challenge us more than any other format in our history in the sport," he continued. "I think it’s kind of shown that to be true.”

After recognizing the challenge that lies ahead, Johnson pointed out that winning is the guaranteed way to find success in the postseason.

“Winning does supersede all,” he noted. “So, if we can look at the new approach and at the same time not take anything away from the way we have won so many races and championships, that will fix all.”

Tune in on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network to see Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS team battle for the win at New Hampshire.