Johnson can point to positives after fourth at Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Though he finished fourth in a car he felt was capable of winning Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, Jimmie Johnson would have to characterize the second race of 2012 as a positive.

For one thing, Johnson can point to his two-race total of 18 points. Positive 18 points. After a 42nd-place finish in Monday night’s Daytona 500 and a 25-point penalty for unapproved “C” Posts on his No. 48 Chevrolet, Johnson came to Phoenix with a minus-23 point total.

immie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/ Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, in his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2012 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Now he’s in the black. Johnson led 55 laps at the one-mile track, but an unplanned pit stop under caution on Lap 134 because of a loose lug nut cost him track position. Johnson restarted 24th on Lap 141 and worked his way to fourth by the end of the race, but he had mixed feelings about the result.

“We’ll take it,” Johnson said after the race. “I’m not really satisfied. I really felt like we had a car to win the race with. Unfortunately things didn’t work out there. We had a little hiccup early in the race, but we still rebounded back and got a very strong finish.

“So I’m proud of the fight this team has and the racecar we brought to the track, and I passed a lot of racecars on a track that’s tough to pass and still got back to fourth.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.

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