Johnson's back in the Chase after slow start

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Johnson's back in the Chase after slow start Empty Johnson's back in the Chase after slow start

Post  anylove on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:38 am

Apparently, the rumors of Jimmie Johnson's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Johnson, the five-time defending NASCAR champion, was written off by many after he finished 10th at Chicago and 18th at New Hampshire to start this season's 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

He found himself a career-worst 10th in the points standings heading to Dover two races ago. His relationship nfl jerseys from china with crew chief Chad Knaus was being questioned after the two had a testy exchange over the team's radio at New Hampshire.

But all that is in the rear-view mirror.

Johnson finished second to Kurt Busch at Dover and then went out and dominated the race at Kansas on Sunday.

Suddenly, Mr. Five Time is back.

"In a 10-race format, if you're the guy setting the way and you continue to put distance between yourself and mlb jerseys cheap second, you gain an advantage at that point, and that's the advantage I want to have," Johnson said. "People also pay attention to the momentum you have and where you are going, and if we can continue to close that gap, I hope that we can find something positive out of that to send a message and keep things going."

The message he delivered at Kansas was loud and clear. He jumped to third place in the points standings and is just four points behind leader Carl Edwards. The heat is on heading into Saturday night's race at Charlotte.

Even the normally stoic Knaus is excited.

"Absolutely, can't you tell? I am really excited; I really am," Knaus said, after Johnson won at Kansas.

This is the time of the year when Johnson mashes the accelerator. After all, his 20 career Chase nhl jerseys cheap victories are more than double that of Edwards' total of eight, which is second-best in NASCAR history.

Johnson says he is not counting out Edwards, who will probably provide him with his greatest competition over the final six races.

"I think their strength as a group is something that is really needed as you discount jerseys get into a Chase battle and fighting for it," said Johnson of Edwards. "The confidence they have in one another helped them get through the speeding penalty they had and make up a lot of positions in a short time on the racetrack at Dover."

Edwards admits that he enjoys topping Johnson. He says if he wants to be the champion, then he has to beat the champion.

"It's important to beat them every week," Edwards said. "I'd be lying if I didn't say that of all the cars that you want to finish in front of, you want to finish in front of those guys the most because the last five years they've been the guys to beat at the end."

Kevin Harvick stands second in points and is just three points ahead of Johnson. Harvick said he isn't focusing on Johnson's team right now.

"I don't care where Jimmie Johnson is and don't care where anyone else is," Harvick said. "We are concerned about [Edwards] and what we have to do to beat that particular car right now."

It's easy to read between the lines. Sounds as if Johnson has gotten back into his competition's heads.

And that's right where he wants to be.

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