Johnson Predicts the Unpredictable in 2009
Under the circumstances, it's not easy to predict who's going to pose a challenge for Johnson in 2009. As Dale Earnhardt Jr. underlined earlier this week, the Budweiser Shootout this weekend will not give a clear statement of where teams are standings ahead of the new season, as the cars used for the Shootout are totally different from the ones to be used through the 2009 season.
That only leaves us with the assumption that financially-strong teams hold the higher chances of triumphing in 2009, as they have invested more money into the necessary technology during the winter. And Johnson knows that, as he expects Roush Fenway drivers to give him a run for a new title in 2009.
“Without the testing I feel that no-one really knows who's going to be strong. The big teams all have this technology in the shops with seven-post rigs and simulation wind tunnels that it's going to be interesting to see in this first quarter how much of an advantage that stuff is,” admitted Johnson.
“I think with no testing nobody has an idea and I would look back and see who was strong in the end last year to kind of rank things from that. So I expect a bunch of those Roush cars were very fast. There are some other teams as well, but I think the No. 16 (Greg Biffle) and the No. 17 (Matt Kenseth) and the No. 99 (Carl Edwards), those guys were all really strong so I think out of the gate, California and Vegas we're going to be dealing with the Roush cars,” said Johnson.
Edwards was in contention for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide titles last season, but failed on both occasions. However, he came from behind in the late stages of both series, recording 3 wins out of the last 4 races in both Sprint and Nationwide.