Johnson: Testing Gamble Paying Off

Jimmie Johnson reckons that saving some of his testing days until the Chase for the Championship will prove crucial in his title chances

Johnson: Testing Gamble Paying Off

Johnson secured his first victory since May at Dover yesterday to take the title lead with eight races remaining in the ten-race, ten-driver play off.

Johnson believes that holding back his test days until now will give him the edge and stop him drifting off them pace.

"I think one big factor involved is testing and when a team chooses to test," Johnson said. "We've been saving our test sessions for the final ten. We've tested three times in the last month and we've got three test sessions ahead of us.

"It's really hard to know why you go from dominating to running 10th. Before you know it, it can happen. We've seen it happen this year with a number of teams and drivers, where they hit a hot streak, they're on for a little bit, then everybody catches up and passes them.

"If we could time it right every year and peak right at the end of the year, we'd be the champion for the next ten years. There's no way you can plan it out and expect it to run that way every year."

Johnson credited his Hendrick teammate Kyle Busch, who has tested at Dover in the run up to the race to provide crucial information about the track. Busch finished second to Johnson in the race.

"I need to thank them," Johnson added. "Those guys have been great team players and worked really well with us along with all of our other teammates, but Busch was up here two weeks ago in testing and carried it over and put it into the our car and we took advantage of it.

"I felt comfortable leading the race, knowing my teammate was back there. If it was somebody else I don't think I would have had the same comfort. So, from my perspective I knew I had to stay up front and do my job. I didn't have any concerns over any aggressive driving from behind."

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Series NASCAR
Author Tim Redmayne
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