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NASCAR America: Jimmie Johnson: Repaves ‘cater’ to young drivers

Jimmie Johnson admits he didn't think a reprofiled Texas track would treat him as well as traditional Texas had, figuring a younger driver’s bravery could be rewarded.

After the worst start to a season in his NASCAR Cup career, Jimmie Johnson’s first win of 2017 came in a familiar setting but under different circumstances.

Johnson won his seventh race at Texas Motor Speedway, but the 1.5-mile track had received face lift since the sport’s last visit there with a repave and a reduction of banking in Turns 1 and 2.

Johnson told Dave Burns he didn’t think the new version of the track would benefit him like the old.

“I didn’t, I felt like this was going to be a younger drivers race,” Johnson said. “Repaves usually reward bravery. I was certainly committed today ... these repave things usually cater to those guys who haven’t hit many walls. I think I scored one for the old guys today and won on a very treacherous race track.”

And while in other sports, athletes will sport a “playoff beard” for good luck, Johnson has had a very bushy beard since January. The gray that laces it is a clear sign he’s not one of the “younger” drivers. After his first win, Burns asked if the Hendrick driver will continue to wear it going forward.

“I have no idea,” Johnson said. “We’ll see if my kids let me.”

Watch the video for the full interview.