NASCAR at Texas 2012: Jimmie Johnson right where he wants to be

Following last week's win at Martinsville, Jimmie Johnson is in an oh-so-familiar position: Atop the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with three races left in the season.

However, despite now being the hunted instead of the hunter, Johnson has no plans to change his approach.

"Honestly, it's really been the same thing throughout the Chase, and that's to go out and get as many points as possible," Johnson said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. "I'm in the mindset of sitting on the pole and winning the race. I think that's what you have to do with as tight as the points have been and with how strong the competitors have been on the race track."

"I'm still very focused on getting as many points as possible and trying to win the races."

One thing Johnson won't be doing is getting caught up into a war of words with any challengers.

When it comes down to it, the five-time champ would much rather let his performance on the track do his talking for him. That's the very thing he did last week when he won the pole on Friday and then came back on Sunday to lead the most laps and win the race.

"There are different aspects to it, I think," Johnson said. "Some (drivers) are eager for those opportunities and like to play it out in the media and stir the pot. It's really not been my outlet.

"... So I look over the last couple of weeks and what our team was able to accomplish at Kansas with a damaged race car and then what we did last week, it's quite a statement in that we're serious about this championship and we're doing the right things to go out there and try to win this thing."

The nice thing for Johnson, though, is that racing with the points lead is something he's quite comfortable with. Yet, even despite that level of comfort, there is still pressure that comes with having a target on your back.

Not that Johnson would want it any other way.

"There is some pressure taken off you when you are (behind)," he said. "I think there is more pressure on the points leader, but there is more control as the points leader. Just a week ago, I was sitting there seven (points) back thinking, 'OK, if I got two a weekend or if I got three a weekend...

"Right now I don't have to think about that. There is the pressure to maintain, but I would much rather be leading the points than be anywhere else."

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