LONG POND, PA (WFXG) - Jimmie Johnson is not one to stay down long so after a faulty restart cost him a victory last week, the five time champion dominated the field in Pocono as payback.
"We don't focus too much on what happened yesterday or last week," said winning crew chief Chad Knaus on his driver's reaction to disappointment. "We always try to keep eyes forward, and I think that gives us always a little bit clearer view."
The win was Johnson's third at the three turn racetrack but first since 2004. He also stretched his point lead to 51 points over second place Carl Edwards.
"If Chani goes into labor early, I don't have to worry about Richmond," commented Johnson on having nearly a full race margin over second place in the point standings. "That is what I'm working so hard for. I always work hard anyway, but it sure takes some pressure off if we lock early and don't have to worry about Richmond."
Knaus insists that his driver is not the kind to carry a grudge and that the win Sunday was not making a statement.
"For any of you who know Jimmie, he doesn't carry a grudge," continued Knaus on his driver's motivation. "He is a very laid back; the pinnacle Californian, and he just lets it go and come and go as it pleases."
However, Johnson admits that being snookered last week on the final restart at Dover was still on his mind. As a flurry of restarts dominated the last 15 laps of the event, Johnson proved that he knew how to outsmart the competition.
"I mean, there was a little lingering for me," continued Johnson despite Knaus' conviction that he doesn't carry a grudge. "I wanted to prove a point and show everybody really what could happen in that restart zone than what happened to me last week."
Johnson's teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., gave the race winner a test in the final laps but just couldn't keep up.
"It really comes down to who's got the best handling car," said Earnhardt about trying to keep up with Johnson. "To be honest with you, Jimmie had the best handling car by far today."
Greg Biffle finished second by overtaking Earnhardt on the final restart but admits that he just doesn't have the winning combination of driver and equipment locked in like Johnson.
"It's frustrating as a driver to not have the equipment or the downforce or whatever that the other guys do," observed Biffle on his team's performance. "I wish our cars were as good as those guys' cars right now but, we keep working on them every week and make them better. We're not going to give up."
Grudge or not, Johnson dominated the field by leading 128 of the 160 laps and sent a stern message that his team is in it to win it at this point in the season.