JIMMIE JOHNSON NO. 48 LOWE¿S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO LAS VEGAS PREVIEW JOHNSON ON NASCAR RUNNING MORE WESTERN RACES: ¿I think that¿s a natural next-step for our sport. There are a lot of tracks that have two dates. I would hope that in the future we hit 36 different race tracks so we can expand ¿ especially out west and in the northwest. There are a lot of great places where we can put on a good show and reach a new fan. The trend is showing that we¿re expanding more and more and that¿s a positive move for us.¿ ON THE NEW NASCAR IMAX MOVIE AND HOW IT MIGHT AFFECT THE FAN BASE: ¿I haven¿t seen the film. I¿m going to see it tomorrow (Wednesday). I saw a quick clip of it when we were in New York at the banquet. From the little bit I have seen, I think it¿s going to educate a lot of people who don¿t know about NASCAR. It¿ll also show the most avid fan an inside perspective of what it feels like in the garage area and what it feels like to drive a race car. I think it¿s going to be an incredible experience for everyone. When working on it, I was just amazed at how much it really took to make this IMAX piece and the detail and man-hours and time and money it took to make it. I can¿t wait to see it.¿ DOES THE NEW GOODYEAR TIRE COMPOUNDS CHANGE YOUR DRIVING STYLE? ¿We learned a lot in our test session. The cars have a lot of movement and are inconsistent in the feeling they have. The tires seem to be consistent from set to set, but it does seem like there is a huge amount of drop off in the tire and that was by design. I think they¿ve reached that goal in having a lot of fall off in the tires so that you don¿t have strategy issues, but it drives a lot different. The set-ups are going to be a little different. You also have the new spoiler rule. So you have a few things working together that are making the cars drive a lot different. The end result is a lot of movement, drop-off, and tire wear. It¿s going to make the race in Las Vegas a lot different from what we¿ve seen there in the past.¿ WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY A LOT OF MOVEMENT? ¿With the smaller rear spoiler, you have less down force in the car. By that alone, the car has less grip. And with the tire being as good as it is at the beginning of a run and then dropping off at the end of the run, your grip level changes even more. So, the limit of traction is considerably less from what we¿re used to. It¿s very easy to overdrive the car and have the car experience more movement. There are a lot of things going on.¿ CREW CHIEF CHAD KNAUS ON WHAT HE SAID TO THE CREW AFTER ROCKINGHAM: ¿I gave them a three-day weekend (laughs). We really haven¿t had a whole lot of time to hold any big meetings or anything like that. We got together shortly after the race was over after the truck was loaded up and I said, ¿Let¿s go to Las Vegas¿. That¿s the neat thing about this Lowe¿s team. They don¿t need a lot of extra motivation. Our guys are so in tune and so intense about going to the race track every week and going as fast as we can and trying to win every race we can. ¿Right now, they are basically self-motivated because they want to do well. The pit crew wants to go out there and do the fastest pit stops. The guys who hang the bodies want to do well. The guys who work on the car throughout the weekend want to make that car as fast as they can. They want to make it reliable. Their motivation right now is just going to the race track.¿ KNAUS ON LAS VEGAS: ¿Las Vegas is going to be neat. We feel like the Dodges have a bit of an advantage on us right now in horsepower and aerodynamics. We feel like the Fords have really stepped it up with the Roush-Yates collaboration on the engine side. We think they¿ve got a good horsepower increase. The new nose they¿ve got on the Ford Taurus is a pretty big advantage. We¿re definitely going there behind the eight ball, we feel, but that¿s the thing that makes Hendrick Motorsports what it is. We¿re always able to come back out on top. Whether it¿s immediately, or in the very near future, we¿ll get back up there. ¿But it¿s going to be exciting. Our test was decent. We think our car is as good as what we can make it right now. We¿re going to go out there and shoot for the stars. I don¿t go to the race track unless I feel like I can win. If I didn¿t think we had an opportunity to go to that race track and win that race, we¿d just rather stay home and get prepared for Atlanta. So we¿re feeling good about it. But the cards are going to have to fall just right for us to be able to get up there.¿ RACE NOTES CHASSIS INFORMATION Team Lowe¿s Racing will bring car 4880. This chassis has yet to race, but the team tested it in Las Vegas in January. STATS & FACTS Best at Vegas · Jimmie Johnson's average finish of 8.5 in the two races he has entered at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the best of any active driver. Sunday's race marks the seventh race at LVMS. Top-10 Streak Comes To An End · Until the last race at Rockingham, Jimmie Johnson was in the top 10 in NASCAR Winston Cup points for 70 consecutive weeks, the longest streak in stock car racing's top series. It was the ninth longest streak in the modern era that began in 1972. Top Leader · Jimmie Johnson is 25th in points, but only five drivers have led more laps than the 16 laps Johnson has in 2004. Johnson also led the sixth most laps in 2003 when he led 644 laps. Last Win · Jimmie Johnson's last win came at New Hampshire International Speedway on 9/14/03. Moving Up The Chart · Jimmie Johnson's six career victories after just two full years is good enough for 59th best in the history of the sport. His next victory will tie him with Darel Dieringer, A.J. Foyt, Jim Reed and Marshall Teague. Chevy Tally · Johnson hopes to give Chevrolet its 529th victory in NASCAR Nextel Cup competition. MOST RECENT RUN - ROCKINGHAM Jimmie Johnson and Team 48 started in the 29th position and moved up through the field until lap 131 when he and Ken Schrader collided in turn four. Johnson was not injured, but the Lowe¿s Monte Carlo could not continue. The accident relegated Johnson to 41st place and 25th in the points. MOST RECENT RUN IN LAS VEGAS After qualifying 10th and posting top speeds in both practices, Johnson¿s No. 48 Lowe¿s Monte Carlo looked like it would contend for the win and possibly take over the season points lead on Sunday. But a last lap tangle with Sterling Marlin sent Johnson spinning, relegating him to 11th place. Johnson left Las Vegas third in the season points race. Las Vegas RACE NOTES EVENT START FINISH STATUS NOTES 2003 Las Vegas 400 10 11 Running Crashed on final lap with Sterling Marlin 2002 Las Vegas 400 25 6 Running Johnson¿s 2004 Season Statistics EVENT START FINISH STATUS NOTES Daytona 6 5 Running Rockingham 29 41 Accident Streak of 70 races in Top 10 in points ended