FORT WORTH, Tex. – At Texas Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson’s nickname has a double meaning.
Johnson’s moniker “Six-Time” derives, of course, from the number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships he and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team have won.
But Johnson also is a six-time winner at Texas, and in recent years, Victory Lane at the 1.5-mile speedway has been an all-but-exclusive piece of real estate for the 40-year-old driver.
Johnson has won the last three Cup races at Texas, four of the last five and five of the last seven. Clearly, the old asphalt at TMS suits him.
“It’s just this race track,” Johnson said Thursday before opening Cup practice of Saturday’s Duck Commander 500 (at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX). “I think tracks with an older surface—the bumpier it is, the more tire wear, it’s just a condition that plays into our wheelhouse. And we’ve hit on some things here over the last few trips, and it consistently works for us, and it continues to put speed and longevity in the car.
“We weren’t necessarily the best car in all those races, but we were in the top three, top five. And I truly believe if you run there long enough, you’ll have opportunities to win. And we’ve been able to win on speed, and then when being at the right place and being able to take advantage of things, too.”
Johnson was sixth fastest in Thursday’s practice, posting a lap at 191.360 mph.