Johnson again among the many leaders in Phoenix
Jimmie Johnson wouldn’t name his eighth-place end at ISM Raceway a victory-style efficiency, nevertheless it was a strong day for the No. 48 group.
For the primary time since Charlotte final fall, Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro completed inside the highest 10 at a non-restrictor-plate monitor. Phoenix was nothing extraordinary by stratospheric requirements anticipated of Johnson and Co., nevertheless it did discover them again among the many leaders.
Beginning Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 in ninth, Johnson scored factors in Stage 2 and led for 4 laps early within the ultimate stage after peeling off pit highway rapidly following a two-tire cease.
Importantly, Phoenix is Johnson’s second top-10 end of the season, having began the season with a ninth within the Daytona 500.
“The man at Hendrick have been working so exhausting to get us extra, and we took a great step in the proper course [this weekend],” mentioned Johnson.
<h2 class="related__header">Extra NASCAR!</h2><a category="block block--related" href="https://racer.com/2019/03/10/kyle-busch-closes-in-on-the-200-wins-milestone/" data-track="-in-article-related-auto"><h2 class="block__title">Kyle Busch closes in on the 200 wins milestone</h2><h2 class="block__title">Blaney's Cup fortunes on the upswing in Phoenix</h2><h2 class="block__title">Kyle Busch sweeps Phoenix NASCAR in dominant type</h2></apart> <p>Johnson completed 10th in Stage 2 final weekend at Las Vegas and was working solidly inside the highest 15 when he started fading late, ending 19th. The week earlier than Vegas, Johnson was by no means within the dialog as he quietly struggled to complete 24th in Atlanta.</p> <p>“We're studying every week and we nonetheless have some catching as much as do, however definitely a strong efficiency right here,” mentioned Johnson after a productive afternoon in Phoenix.</p> <p>“Kevin [Meendering] known as an excellent race. It was actually difficult with technique — two tires; 4 tires. The crew needed to alter mid pit cease as soon as, go from 4 to 2, and everyone responded very well.”</p> <p>Struggling by means of the primary winless season of his profession in 2017, the seven-time champion has been struggling for a while. Whereas a couple of drivers complained after the race how exhausting it was to cross at ISM Raceway, Johnson mentioned on pit highway — as reported on Twitter by Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports activities — that he’s had bother passing anybody for “the final 12 months and a half, two years.”</p> <p>Johnson had a median working place of 8.1 Sunday afternoon.</p> <p>“Undoubtedly a robust efficiency,” he mentioned. “However we want extra, we have to discover extra. And on a brief monitor the place grip is so vital, our guys did a pleasant job all weekend lengthy of bringing just a little bit extra. I’m enthusiastic about that. We weathered the storm on two tires, on 4, and ended up with a pleasant prime 10.”</p>