Jimmie Johnson: ‘a lot of faith’ in creation of new point system that could make people ‘desperate’

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CHARLOTTE- Jimmie Johnson has “a lot of faith” in the creation of NASCAR’s new point system and believes it could make people “desperate.”

Johnson, a seven-time champion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, was the last champion under the old format, which became obsolete Monday around 6 p.m. ET.

“The big takeaway I have, when you put all the smart people in the room and what it could look like … I think that’s a smart move,” Johnson said Tuesday at the NASCAR Media Tour. “Knowing our environment, knowing how to take the best from each of those folks in the room, the major stakeholders … I have a lot of faith in that. I’m excited everyone took the time to put their heads together. It’s all about winning, finishing the best you can. Doesn’t matter what it is. There’s incentive to go out and perform. It’s tough to change much of what I do.”

MORE: Nate Ryan: The Chase is dead in name only

MORE: Q&A about the new points system

The format introduces three segments to all races with points awarded at the end of each. Said Johnson, “It might take people from the 100 percent mark to being more desperate.”

Johnson, who doesn’t see himself as a strong qualifier – despite 35 career poles and an average start of 12.1 – thinks that could work against his team in the new format. Points will be awarded to the top 10 finishers in each of the first two segments, with 10 the first driver and one to the driver in the 10th.

“Qualifying has been tough for us,” Johnson said. “We might leave points on the table that first segment because our qualifying isn’t where we want it to be. It’s not one of my natural strengths. It’s going to force people to be more aggressive and more competitive. In some situations, not all, but in some situations.”

NASCAR has altered the points system multiple times since Johnson won his first title in 2006, including after Johnson won his fifth championship in a row in 2010 and its introduction of the playoff system in 2014 after his sixth title.

“I’m not bigger than NASCAR, there’s no way they’re making changes because of the 48,” Johnson said. “This sports a lot bigger than one person.”

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NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 90: Roger Slack

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Eldora Speedway general manager Roger Slack joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss his track’s past, present and possible future with NASCAR.

Slack detailed the run-up to the initial “secret” test with Tony Stewart and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon that led to scheduling a Camping World Truck Series race that recently completed its fifth edition.

Slack also discussed the storied history of Eldora, which opened in 1954 and was bought by Stewart 50 years later.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.

It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

NASCAR America: How Daniel Suarez found out he was replacing Carl Edwards (video)

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On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Daniel Suarez recalled the moment he got the call that he was being promoted to replace Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Cup Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Suarez was at dinner back home in Mexico with family and friends when JGR officials called and him to be ready for a teleconference in a few moments.

Suarez stepped away, telling his dinner partners he’d be back shortly — which ultimately lasted 40 minutes.

When he returned to the dinner table, he couldn’t tell anything about the phone call — JGR officials swore him to secrecy — but he eventually revealed that he had been promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series to replace Edwards, who had decided to take a hiatus from his racing career.

Check out the video above.



NASCAR America: What Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other (video)

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Daniel Suarez appeared on Wednesday’s live broadcast of NASCAR America from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina,

One of the funniest segments of Suarez’s visit was a video and verbal collage of how much he and his fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other — all in good humor, of course.

Check out the video above where Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch answer the “tough questions” about themselves, as well as how they feel about their fellow teammates.

NASCAR America: Daniel Suarez’s journey from Mexico and VW Beetles to NASCAR champion (video)

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In winning last year’s Xfinity Series championship, Mexican native Daniel Suarez became NASCAR’s first international champion.

It was the culmination of a journey that began with his father and, interestingly enough, Volkswagen Beetles.

Check out Suarez’s story and the thoughts about his success and prowess by our NASCAR America analysts in the video above.

Speaking of VW Beetles, Suarez’s father sold his restoration shop to fund his son’s racing dream. Years later, Daniel repaid his father by purchasing a new restoration shop for him. See the video below.