Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion turned team owner Jimmie Johnson says it is going to be a great weekend as he prepares to compete in the Cup Series event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas this weekend.
Johnson has been extremely busy getting ready for the LeMans 24 Hours and will share the track this weekend with his team mate and 2009 Formula One world champion Jenson Button who makes his NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend.
This is going to be such a great weekend. I’ve had this race on my bucket list for a really long time and I’m thankful for a partner like Club Wyndham for making it possible. I’m looking forward to the challenge of the track, these NextGen cars with the low downforce, and thankful we have a practice on Friday to see what we have to work with. Todd Gordon and the LEGACY MOTOR CLUB team have prepared a great car back at the shop. From everything I’ve heard this track puts on a heck of a show, and from a venue standpoint, it’s such a great stage for this sport. I’m looking back to getting back to the track, we have spent some time in the SIM to prepare and I’m ready for the weekend.”
Johnson’s crew chief Todd Gordon commented about the weekend ahead saying:
: “I ran COTA with Ryan Blaney in 2021 in the rain. Neat venue, really long and lots of different facets to this track. There are high speed straightaways, lots of short, tight 90-degree corners and it’s got some sweeping right-handers through the stadium section. So, its really a track that has all the facets of road course racing. This track asks a lot out of the team, car and driver and it’s the first time we’ve gone there with this low downforce and the package we ran at Phoenix. It’s a really cool opportunity. I’m looking forward to the practice and see what Jimmie likes – he is a really good student – and I think his INDYCAR road course experience is going to be key because he understands how to race his way thought a road course. Should be a great weekend.”
This weekend there will be no stage breaks during the race and speaking how this will impact strategy decisions, Erik Jones said:
think it opens up some more options, the old stages how we’ve had the last few years, you were kind of locked in to one way or the other – take stage points or take a higher finishing position. We will see how it used to be I think with running the race backwards and trying to make sure you have enough fuel to get to the end of the race. We will see how much tires matter, I think they are going to be pretty important with probably some more fall off than what we’ve seen in the past with the track aging and getting more slick a bit. I think it will be a fine balance between tires and trying to pit as early as you can to make it on fuel, so we will see how it plays out with our Allegiant Chevy.”
Noah Gragson is looking forward to the race this weekend saying:
Last weekend was the boost we needed for the entire LEGACY MOTOR CLUB team. We ran a solid race in Atlanta, learned a lot and I think we left a little on the table. It was a solid points day. Moving on to this week, we finished fourth at COTA last year in Xfinity and have put a lot of work in during this off season to get better there. It’s a really fun track and an awesome energy with the crowd. I am looking forward to the challenge. I’m really glad to have Black Rifle Coffee Company on the car this weekend – the paint scheme is really sharp and we hope to give them a good show