Johnson at the moment solely races on the street and avenue programs for Chip Ganassi Racing, with oval obligation delegated to IndyCar veteran Tony Kanaan – who certified fifth on the Indianapolis 500 after making it into the Quick 9 with the third-fastest run.
Though seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Johnson has years of expertise racing on ovals in inventory automobile equipment, he elected to not run them in his maiden IndyCar season – however will conduct a check at Homestead to “get comfy” with them.
The California native says that he hopes there will likely be crossover in his information of ovals from his storied NASCAR profession, and has been gleaning information from two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya – who additionally raced in each collection – and fellow IndyCar rookie Romain Grosjean, who will make his own oval debut at IndyCar’s Gateway round.
“I’m looking for my consolation with the ovals,” Johnson mentioned. “I feel [Grosjean] is in a similar place. We’ve been chatting over the 12 months about ovals and actually the entire expertise altogether.
“As I get an increasing number of comfy with ovals – hopefully the check when it occurs late August will go nicely – and I’ll proceed to work nearer to the Indy 500 and ovals on the whole.”
“I really feel like there’s some carryover [from NASCAR]; of all of the kinds of tracks we run on, there ought to be some crossover on ovals.
“I spent a while speaking with Juan Pablo [Montoya] and he felt like when he was capable of return to IndyCar after his NASCAR expertise, that there was a variety of information of driving approach he might deliver over and he felt like he might have a leg up on the normal IndyCar drivers at that time.
“That’s the carrot hanging out in entrance of me. I’m working round in the back of the pack on avenue and street programs and I’m pondering, ‘Man, if I used to be on an oval, the place would I be?’ That’s the steadiness I’m preventing with proper now, of threat versus reward.”
Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Photograph by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images
Johnson defined that his reservations over racing on ovals had been right down to his personal considerations over security, however he says that watching team-mate Alex Palou stroll away from a 220mph apply crash on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway “was a giant verify mark” in guaranteeing his personal participation.
As well as, Johnson defined that a part of his Homestead check was understanding the security of IndyCar’s Dallara chassis on an oval course, and prompt he will not know the way protected the automobile will likely be except he crashes for himself.
“In the end I am making an attempt to know the security stage of IndyCar on the ovals,” he mentioned. “That is actually been my worry, from being a fan and watching from afar and watching my mates race on ovals.
“However after seeing just a few massive crashes on the Brickyard and talking to the drivers after, I am turning into rather more comfy with the ovals and with the crash dynamics that happen.
“I am at some extent now the place in a humorous means I am keen to go hit a wall; I am not going to know except I actually hammer a wall how a lot it hurts, the distinction between a Cup automobile and an IndyCar.
“Watching the Indy 500 this 12 months and seeing Alex’s big crash that he had in apply, he was positive: he walked away. That was a giant verify mark for me, like ‘OK, wall, automobile, that pace – that each one labored nicely.”