Trifecta time: Johnson looks to make it three consecutive wins

Jimmie Johnson's back-to-back victories at Charlotte and Dover the past two weekends came as no huge surprise -- despite his relatively slow to start to 2014.

After all, these two tracks have regularly been among Johnson's best throughout his NASCAR Sprint Cup career.

The question now on many minds is if the six-time series champion can make it three wins in a row this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Unfortunately for Johnson's fellow drivers, he's historically almost as stout at Pocono as he is at Charlotte and Dover.

While Johnson doesn't own as many trophies from the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track as he does from the two most recent venues, his record here is stellar nonetheless: Three wins, 16 top-10s and 10 top-fives in 24 starts. His average finish over those two dozen outings is a rock-solid 8.8.

Johnson swept the two Pocono races in 2004 and went to Victory Lane here most recently one year ago when he torched the competition by leading 128 of 160 laps from the pole.

To say he's the prohibitive favorite to take Sunday'€™s Pocono 400 is hardly a hyperbole.

"We have some momentum right now," said Johnson, one of three drivers with a pair of victories in 2014. "Pocono is a great track for the No. 48 team. There are a couple of things there to think about and I think it's such a big track it’s tough to see it all from a fan perspective. But inside the car and the challenge that the crew chief face there is a lot going on around that racetrack.

"I know it is Chad's (Knaus, crew chief) favorite racetrack to go to because all three corners are different, the loading is different, the banking is different, and there are a bunch of tools and options to adjust the race car all the way around the track. That is what Chad really enjoys about that."

Knaus, who has steered Johnson to all three of his Pocono triumphs -- along with the Hendrick Motorsports driver's six series championships -- makes no bones about his affinity for the triangular-shaped track, one of the quirkiest and most difficult stops on the Sprint Cup Series schedule.

"I think we're seeing a lot of the fruit of a lot of people's labor right now at the racetrack, and definitely looking forward to getting to Pocono," said Knaus, who is widely regarded as NASCAR's savviest crew chief. "I've said it time and time again, Pocono is one of my favorite racetracks. I think it's a lot of fun. It's very difficult. So from a driver standpoint, this is definitely a tough racetrack."

And from a crew chief's perspective?

"I've said it before, time and time again: Pocono is such a fun track from a crew chief standpoint because you have to work so many different angles," Knaus said. "We're really looking to getting there and just seeing if we can get another solid finish."

And quite possibly a third consecutive win.