Looking ahead

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, stands on pit road during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2012 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

LOUDON, N.H. — Most Chase contenders are focused on the one-mile flat track at Loudon, but Jimmie Johnson took a moment to reflect on the third race track in the Chase, one-mile, high-banked concrete Dover.

If Johnson looks on Dover more fondly than most other drivers do, there’s a reason. The five-time Cup champion is a seven-time winner at the Monster Mile, with a record that includes victories at Chase races there in 2005, 2009 and 2010. Johnson also won the spring race at Dover this year and expects to run the same car in the Sept. 30 AAA 400.

“So far it’s been a great track for us,” Johnson said. “If we can run up front and kind of control the race and control who we are racing around, I feel like we can make up a lot or hopefully distance ourselves.

“I want to come out of (New Hampshire) with the points lead, and hopefully we can distance ourselves from the guys.”

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