Although he has led the Sprint Series pack for the most laps this season (166), Johnson barely managed a Top 10 finish at the Auto Club Speedway two weekends ago (following a disappointing 31st place in the season opener, at Daytona International Speedway). The past week, at Las Vegas, Johnson spun his car only laps to the finish line (while challenging for the lead) and eventually finished 24th overall.
The Californian now looks for the upcoming race in Atlanta to show everybody that his Chevy still has the speed to win races in the first part of the season.
“At California we had a lot of speed and a decent finish and then this last weekend we had such a good car, so I'm very optimistic. I hate that we're 19th in the points right now, but fortunately it's early in the year and we can move up the list pretty quick if we can just link together a couple of good races. I think Atlanta is a good track to get that started for us,” said Johnson.
However, he avoided making comparisons with the situation from last season, when Johnson made his first visit to the Victory Lane after 8 attempts.
“Yes, last year we got off to a slow start but it was more of a panic situation than what we have right now because we didn't have the speed in the cars. This year it's different. We've got fast cars but just haven't linked together a solid four or 500 miles and taken advantage of the great cars that we've had. I'm not worried. I'm not stressed. I'm really optimistic and excited about the next few races,” added Johnson.
His next attempt to win a Sprint race this season will be at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he won 2 races and finished runner-up on one more occasion in the last 4 races. His last performance in Georgia was a 2nd place to Carl Edwards last season, when trying to defend his point advantage in the overall standings during the closing stages of the season.