CONCORD, N.C. – Jimmie Johnson might be eliminated from the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series championship race, but that doesn’t mean he won’t continue to be an asset for Hendrick Motorsports as the playoffs progress.
With two younger teammates still in the hunt, the seven-time Cup Series champion said he will do whatever he can to assist them in their race toward the title.
“I think there are definitely lots of things I can help with, especially if they get deeper in rounds and the pressure and stress that kind of comes with all of that,” he said. “I don’t know why, but I’ve had a good approach to that stuff over the years and I’d love to share my wisdom and experience with those guys.”
Not that the approach is any different than the one he has taken all season long.
Johnson shared from the very beginning that he has embraced his role as a veteran leader with three teammates age 25 or younger.
“They’ve been leaning on me some already,” he said. “I’ve always been here for them and really enjoyed those moments, those opportunities to help them if I can. They’re pretty smart dudes in their own right, so it’s not like I’m bringing a ton of new thought to the table, but maybe just to back up a line of thought or just to help them focus on an area that they might overlook or not think is as important as they should.”
As Johnson looks to steer his younger teammates “in the right direction,” he’s certainly still looking to close the season on a high note for the No. 48 team down the stretch.
After being narrowly eliminated from the playoffs at the end of the Bank of America ROVAL 400, the driver said the No. 48 team has been left with “no pressure right now.” He plans to use that to his advantage, especially this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, which he said is typically “a survival race.”
“We are going there – and every race from here on out this season – to win,” he said.