Skip to content

Johnson feels no pressure about recent lack of wins

Sep 21, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

Sylvania 300 - Qualifying Getty Images

After heading into this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup with a series of poor finishes, Jimmie Johnson started the post-season with a solid fifth-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway. But the five-time champion has not won a race since he claimed the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona this past summer.

Nonetheless, Johnson feels that it’s not wise to look back upon the regular season at all during the Chase. It also seems that he is fully aware that he’ll have his chances to pick up critical wins in the final nine events.

“It doesn’t matter if you dominated [the regular season] or if you’ve been behind – [The Chase] is a 10-race stretch of it’s own,” Johnson said Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “With that in mind, I haven’t won in a week. I finished fifth and had a shot to win last week. So, that’s how you have to look at it honestly.

“I know that Dover, Martinsville, our performance on the plate tracks this year, and on 1.5-miles in general, I know there are very good opportunities for us ahead. So, blinders on – focus on the No. 48 [car], focus on what we need to do and not let the outside opinions or what goes on to be a distraction for us.

“We need to run our best 10. I honestly feel if we put together our 10 best races, we’ll be in contention for the championship.”

So far, so good for Johnson, who has won the Chase with much worse results in a post-season opener than the fifth-place finish he got at Chicagoland. His run to the 2006 Cup title began rather poorly with a 39th-place finish at NHMS in that year’s first Chase race.

One of his Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Dale Earnhardt Jr., finds himself in the same position this time around after an engine failure ruined his race last weekend.

Johnson feels that neither Earnhardt or Joey Logano (who also had an engine failure) are done for in the championship, but noted that poor finishes can remove the ability to hold your own destiny in the end.

“As you have poor finishes or bad finishes or whatever the cause, you lose control and that’s the worst part,” Johnson said. “But we’ll see. In 10 races, anything can happen. Talladega is still out there in front of us and I think once you get through Talladega, the championship picture becomes much more clear.

“Again, it’s not the way they want to start, but it’s not time to panic yet.”

Latest Posts
  1. Can Hamilton take this momentum all the way to Abu Dhabi?

    Sep 22, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Reliability woes have left Nico Rosberg reeling. If he doesn’t respond at Suzuka, it could be game over.

  2. Rosberg: I felt helpless in Singapore (VIDEO)

    Sep 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    German driver does well to keep his anger in check in his post-race video blog.

  3. Force India owner heaps praise on Sergio Perez after Singapore fightback

    Sep 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Vijay Mallya delighted as Force India makes 2014 its most successful season since entering F1 back in 2008.

  4. Singapore GP Weekend: All Posts, One Place

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore Getty Images

    Lewis Hamilton has put himself back in control of the 2014 F1 world championship after a great win in Singapore as teammate Nico Rosberg retired.

  5. Red Bull GRC: Rhys Millen wins Race 2 in L.A.; Ken Block takes championship lead

    Sep 21, 2014, 8:43 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    Millen scores his second win of 2014, while YouTube icon Block takes an 18-point lead in the championship with two races left in the season.

  6. Schumacher (TF), C. Force (FC), Connolly (PS), Hines (PSM) are NHRA winners at Texas

    Sep 21, 2014, 7:51 PM EDT

    (Photo courtesy NHRA) (Photo courtesy NHRA)

    Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Courtney Force (Funny Car), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the winners in Sunday’s final rounds of the NHRA FallNationals in Ennis, Texas.

  7. Kyle Larson steady at New Hampshire in runner-up effort

    Sep 21, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 - Practice Getty Images

    The talented rookie continues to duel with the Chasers at New Hampshire before finishing second to Joey Logano.

  8. Chase’s version of musical chairs: nine drivers to battle for five advancement spots at Dover

    Sep 21, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

    Aric Almirola was much happier at Loudon, with a sixth-place finish Sunday. But he's still ranked last in the Chase chances with one race left to stave off elimination. (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

    As the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Dover for next Sunday’s third race of the playoffs, nine drivers will be fighting elimination by vying for five advancement spots there.

  9. Keselowski overcomes adversity to still finish 7th, maintains Chase points lead

    Sep 21, 2014, 6:09 PM EDT

    (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Brad Keselowski started from the pole, led the second-most number of laps in the race (78), overcame a late wreck and still almost won Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  10. Harvick comes up short of Chase win, but continues run of great consistency

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:49 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Prior to last week’s opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Kevin Harvick said it would take wins and uncanny consistency to advance to the final four, winner-take-all battle in the season-ending race at Homestead.

  11. Joey Logano avoids “yellow fever,” wins at N.H. to advance in Chase

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:36 PM EDT

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    The Connecticut native joins Penske teammate Brad Keselowski in the Contender Round with his victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  12. Another Chaser finds trouble in N.H., and this time, it’s Matt Kenseth

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Kenseth was running in the Top 10, when Paul Menard washed up into him and sent him spinning into the wall with 31 laps to go at New Hampshire.

  13. Kurt Busch wrecks, yet another Chase driver to suffer problems at New Hampshire

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT

    (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Kurt Busch had a tire rub on his Haas Automation Chevrolet when the right front tire appeared to blow on Lap 222 of the 300-lap Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, sending him hard into the wall and suffering right front end damage.

  14. Wreck involves several Chase drivers; Keselowski spins, suffers minor damage

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Several drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup suffered damage to their respective race cars in a wreck that involved Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman with just over 100 laps to go in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  15. UPDATE: Denny Hamlin’s bad day at New Hampshire gets worse with Lap 180 crash

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images) Getty Images

    4 p.m. ET – Already several laps down, Hamlin was caught in a multi-car crash that also involved Martin Truex Jr., David Ragan, and Cole Whitt.

  16. Kevin Harvick is halfway leader at Loudon, Denny Hamlin suffers strange mishap

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Kevin Harvick is the halfway leader of Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Joey Logano is running second, followed by Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Jamie McMurray.

  17. Safety car period costs Alonso possible podium finish

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Spanish driver still pleased with the race weekend in Singapore, feeling that Ferrari has made a step forwards.

  18. Wisconsin driver killed in wreck, 3rd short track fatality in less than 2 months

    Sep 21, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

    (Image courtesy Beaver Dam Raceway) (Image courtesy Beaver Dam Raceway)

    Less than a week after a track flagman was killed at a Florida short track, a Wisconsin sprint car driver was killed following a wreck on Saturday night.

  19. Tire degradation costs Bottas five places on final two laps

    Sep 21, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying Getty Images

    Bottas finishes outside of the points for the first time in 2014, with his only other non-score the result of a DNF at Monaco.

  20. Extreme physical demands of Singapore take their toll on drivers

    Sep 21, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Kvyat and Magnussen both go without water for much of the race, leaving them dehydrated following the race.

Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. B. Keselowski (1905)
  2. J. Gordon (1313)
  3. K. Harvick (1270)
  4. M. Crafton (1051)
  5. K. Busch (1007)