Jimmie Johnson made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the 2001 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fifteen years later, the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and three-time Bank of America 500 winner has his eyes on an eighth points win at Charlotte and a record-tying seventh Sprint Cup Series title.

Johnson enters Saturday's Bank of America 500 - the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup - seeking his first victory in Charlotte's fall classic since 2009. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS is the series' winningest active driver at Charlotte, having scored seven points victories on the 1.5-mile superspeedway but only two since 2006. The battle for Win No. 8, Johnson said, has become a significant challenge.

"They're all tough," said Johnson, the Bank of America 500 winner in 2004, '05 and '09. "The old Charlotte (surface) fit me so well. This new surface has been a bit trickier for me to get sorted out since the repave (in 2006). I don't know.

"There are some tracks we go to where I know we're going to dial it in. Here, I'm optimistic, but it's not like I know we're going to every time."    

Johnson begins Saturday night's Bank of America 500 tied for the points lead in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Round of 12.

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