Jimmie Johnson used to dominate Charlotte Motor Speedway. Before the 1.5-mile track was resurfaced in 2006, Johnson won five times, including four straight in 2004-2005.
Since the repave, he’s won just one points race at Charlotte, in October 2009.
“We’ve been very competitive since the track surface changed, but the advantage we had is gone,” Johnson admitted after qualifying fifth for Saturday night’s race. “We’re still very competitive here. If anything, it has tipped the hand towards Kasey Kahne. This track has really worked well for him over the years.
“We hope to find our magic here this weekend. The All Star Race (in May of this year) was old 48 car fashion here. In the (Coca-Cola) 600 we had a very strong car. But since they repaved this race track, we’ve been one of maybe three or four, maybe five guys you can count on winning. But the old surface we had something on everybody.
“I don’t know if it was me, the car or a combination of both probably. But we had something really cool going on there.”