JOLIET, Ill. (AP) -- There's not a lot of buzz surrounding Jimmie Johnson as he heads into the first race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
He's ranked sixth going into Sunday's playoff opener at Chicagoland Speedway, and has just one victory this season.
But it would be foolish to count the five-time defending champion out of the hunt.
His rivals know Johnson can turn it up a notch during this 10-race Chase, and very little can rattle him.
Johnson says the Chase is a clean slate and nothing that's happened prior to Sunday counts in deciding the champion.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)