REIGNING NASCAR CHAMPION
The new father, and winner of the last four Cup titles, finished 25th on Sunday at New Hampshire in the first race of the Chase
Do you feel like an underdog this year?
Jimmie Johnson: You know, we've been in this position before entering the Chase, where people thought there was something wrong. We've had a slow summer. We had a slow summer last year. But the Chase is a different environment, and our team responds very well to pressure. The tracks in the Chase are good for our team. I haven't been as concerned as the headlines have [suggested]. I feel like we're ... actually ahead of where we were last year at this point.
What if you won the title and they found out you did something wrong. Would you give it back?
JJ: At the end of the day, if NASCAR comes back and says they're taking it, you're going to be disappointed and humiliated for whatever it was that led to that.
But in NASCAR there's a fine line between cheating and not cheating. You're trying to get away with as much as you can.
JJ: Back in the '70s and '80s there was some really creative, crafty stuff going on. But this latest car that NASCAR brought out has really eliminated all gray areas. Today's world is so overregulated. Yes, our job is to read the rule book and look for loopholes and push stuff to the limit, but in the last five years there's just really nowhere to look anymore.
Finish this statement: I will not win my fifth straight title if ...