Johnson relishing battle with Gordon

Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson says he is relishing the challenge of racing his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon for this year's title

Johnson relishing battle with Gordon

Johnson currently lies second in the Chase for the Nextel Cup after losing victory and the points lead to Gordon last weekend at Talladega. The pair are currently nine points apart and have arguably been the two most dominant drivers in the series this season.

"It's something that I think we've been dealing with for a long time," says Johnson about his rivalry with Gordon. "We just understand that on the track we're competitors and we try to help each other and work with each other as much as we can.

"But at the end of the day I know he's trying to win races, he knows that I am, and that goes for the championship battle as well. And I'm not saying that it's a piece of cake and specially if we get to Homestead and it's Jeff and I fighting for the championship, it's going to be very challenging."

Johnson believes despite tension developing as the title race edges its climax, his relationship with Gordon will remain the same. He says it will take more than crashing into each other for things to change between them, but he doesn't expect to be rubbing fenders with his car owner.

"Our relationship has been competitive even though we've been friends," Johnson added. "I don't want to say we won't crash and we won't get into each other at some point because if we would be crashing this weekend in an accident we would be all over the headlines.

"But it would take a lot to jeopardize a friendship as it's just not in either one of us to do that. It's just not who we are as racers on track."

Johnson arrives at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend as the clear favourite to take victory, having won at the 1.5-mile oval five times in the last four years and taking four back-to-back victories in 2004 and 2005.

He will start the race from the front row, while Gordon will line up fourth on the grid.

shares
comments
Newman claims Lowe's Cup pole
Previous article

Newman claims Lowe's Cup pole

Next article

Biffle takes Busch Lowe's pole

Biffle takes Busch Lowe's pole
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021