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5-time champ gets new pit crew

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011

Jimmie Johnson may be a five-time Sprint Cup Series champion but his pit crew this season will be looking for its first championship.

During Thursday's media day activities at Daytona International Speedway, Johnson said most of the people in the shop will be the same but his over-the-wall crew "will be much different." "We're in a very fortunate situation in making big changes that we have a very young crop of guys coming along and guys are earning their way on the team by participating in a series of competitions," Johnson said. Johnson said he witnessed the final day of competitions and was uncertain who exactly got all the positions. "What I saw was a very strong first and second-string group of guys," he said. "That's our plan - to have depth. If someone is having a bad day we can make changes and not lose anything on pit road." In last fall's race at Texas, Johnson's crew was a having problems on pit road and after his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon, wrecked out of the race, Gordon's pit crew swapped places with Johnson's. The change remained intact for the remainder of the season and Johnson won his fifth consecutive Cup title.

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