The value of teamwork

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 08: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, climbs into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 08:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, climbs into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
WATKINS GLEN, NY – AUGUST 08: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, climbs into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.— Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was fast in race trim during Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice sessions, but the six-time champion wasn’t pleased with the way the car ran in qualifying setup.

Accordingly, crew chief Chad Knaus decided to borrow the setup on teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevy for Saturday’s time trials.

“It’s tough,” Johnson said of the radical change in qualifying packages. “Especially when the gear ratios change like they did. I had a completely different set of gears to choose from, and shift points, and trying to get all that right.

“And knowing I was only going to run two laps today, it’s not the easiest thing. Fortunately, I’ve run enough laps, especially at this point in my career here that I feel like I can get it close—and I did on that first run.”

Johnson qualified third for Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at the Glen, behind only teammate Jeff Gordon and Marcos Ambrose.

About Greg Engle 7420 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 Examiner.com 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.