Johnson Seeks Playoff Seed with Hendrick Help

In spite of a daunting task, Johnson remains optimistic at Indy. (Photo Credit: Stephen Conley/TPF)

 

In spite of a daunting task, Johnson remains optimistic at Indy. (Photo Credit: Stephen Conley/TPF)

In spite of a daunting task, Johnson remains optimistic at Indy. (Photo Credit: Stephen Conley/TPF)

Hendrick Motorsports has three out of their four cars in the NASCAR Playoffs entering Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of the regular season finale for the second time in as many years.

Presently, on the outside of the Playoffs bracket, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson sits 18 points out of the final playoff spot. By all means, he knows he has to make up a lot of points, but he said after first practice, “We’ve got a lot to make up in one race.”

We’ve seen teamwork in the past pay off.  Johnson’s younger teammates, William Byron and Chase Elliott, want Jimmie Johnson in the Playoffs and they’ll do what is in their power to help make it happen.

Byron said they will be racing and focusing on stage points and hopefully avoid the playoff chaos. But, with a teammate in that battle, Byron said they haven’t changed much, but will help out as much as they can.

“We tested here, and I’m sure they got some of those notes,” Byron said. “Outside of that, I’m not sure what else we can do.”

Byron added that they’ve got to go out there and race at 100 percent and try to win.

Chase Elliott

As for Chase Elliott, he said, “We absolutely want to see Jimmie (Johnson) in the Playoffs. We’ve talked about it, and I’ll certainly do everything I can to work with him in the draft. And I’m sure we’ll communicate on where he’s at. I want to see him in, but I’m here to win too.”

Playoffs or not, these guys are competitors and to stand in Victory Lane at Indianapolis would certainly make you forget all about a teammate and the Playoffs.

But, for Hendrick Motorsports, at the end of the day, a 10-race stretch for a championship begins next week. And this team is used to winning and wants all four cars having a shot starting in Las Vegas.

Johnson was appreciative of all the comments from his teammates and says there has been more preparation, but not because of this week.

“It’s been since Cliff (Daniels) took over,” Johnson observed. “There are more hours put in, more work being put in.”

In fact, Johnson said that after a Saturday night race, the team was told not to come in the next morning, but as soon as Sunday morning rolled around, the 48 guys were in the shop.

“The energy and the brotherhood inside the 48 team, and how bad they want to perform shows,” he noted. “They want to get it done and make things happen. They are there when they don’t need to be.”

The 48 team believes they can win, they want to win.  No matter what, Jimmie Johnson is just as driven as he’s ever been.

Stephen Conley

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera.

I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University. I have hosted multiple Motorsports talk shows, worked in Country Music radio, and now i spend every day on the air in the morning with 1300 and 100.9 WMVO and in the afternoons watching the roadways around Central Ohio for 93.7 WQIO.

The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting 15 years having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and you can find me at pretty much any event run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

What I like to bring is a look behind the scenes, a look at what and who makes the sport grow. From the guy that welds pieces back at the shop to the host in the tv booth.

Everyone has a story and I like to tell it. My main focus here at TPF is looking at the men and women behind the microphone and cameras.

My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports.

See you at a track soon

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