Gordon wondering how he will get past Johnson ... in the future
If you think Jeff Gordon's busy thinking about how to overcome an 86-point lead at Homestead, think again. He's busy trying to figure out how to beat Jimmie Johnson next year, writes David Newton.
Added Kenseth, "They're so good, I don't know how you put yourself in position to win like that every week."Johnson is so hot that some are comparing him to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who won three Super Bowls in a four-year period and are the NFL's dominant team again this year."I wish I understood more about football," Johnson said with a laugh. "That's why my wife tells me. I know Brady's hot, and they've had great success. But we're just doing our thing."Johnson's thing is so good that Gordon and everybody else in the Chase are losing ground with top-10 finishes."Apparently, Jimmie's raised the bar," said Ken Howes, the vice president for competition at Hendrick Motorsports.Johnson doesn't plan to stop here. Less than an hour after Sunday's win he was talking about winning a fifth-straight race, even though a more conservative approach might be the best way to secure the title.So was crew chief Chad Knaus."We unloaded here on Friday and we had some stuff that was a little bit different and we tried it," he said. "It showed some promise. We didn't quite think it fit the situation we were needing, so we changed it before we started racing."This morning we did some stuff that was a little bit different that we hadn't done in the past in the car. So we're always trying to push and make our race car faster."That's what makes this so frustrating for Gordon, who had a 68-point advantage four races ago. He has access to the same information as Johnson, but can't make it work."He just uses the brakes a lot different getting it in the corner," Gordon said. "When and how he gets on the throttle. They set the car up much different. Every time he's blistering fast I say, 'Put that setup in,' and I'm absolutely terrible."That frustrates Gordon's crew chief, Steve Letarte."From the outside you would think it's very easy," he said. "You just put in a fast setup and slow setup. It's like football offense. Some quarterbacks are good in a West Coast offense and some aren't.
Everybody's had their turn out there, and we've been the team that's been the most consistent over there and been able to battle for the championship every year. I love that. I love that we've got staying power. We can continue to do that.
-- Chad Knaus