CONCORD, N.C. – Jimmie Johnson took home his first top-five finish of the season Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
But it was more than his own finish that had him excited about the results.
“The majority of our cars all ran really strong today,” Johnson said, “so I feel much better about things."
At Texas, three Hendrick Motorsports drivers led laps. Johnson paced the field for 60 laps, Chase Elliott led 35 and William Byron led 15.
Byron finished just behind Johnson in sixth place, giving the organization a pair of top-10 finishes. All four teammates finished in the top 20, with Elliott crossing the finish line 13th and Alex Bowman earning an 18th-place result.
“We are definitely moving in the right direction,” Johnson said. “Car was good in clean air and had a lot of speed in it, so I think we have found kind of center for our cars and what has to happen.”
The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 said his goal was simply to have a consistent weekend, from qualifying through practice and into the race.
He did just that, earning the pole position as part of a one-two-three qualifying effort for Hendrick Motorsports on Friday, learning more about the car during Saturday practices that he felt “went really well,” and ultimately finishing fifth on Sunday.
“This is what we’ve been looking for,” Johnson said. “I am just so proud of everybody on this Ally team. We've had a lot of pressure on us, and everyone has stepped up in getting it done."
Johnson shared that he feels the current rules package puts the emphasis “much more on the car” and it’s obvious to him how much work everyone at Hendrick Motorsports is putting in to make sure the best possible cars are heading to the racetrack.
He hopes the momentum gained in Sunday’s race at Texas can continue as the organization strives toward Victory Lane.
“This is a great learning point for us,” he said. “Now that not only the No. 48 is running well, but all the cars had speed in them, we have great information to go forward with.”