Jimmie Johnson’s Fifth Championship
Jimmie Johnson’s Drive for Five Championships is Alive and Well.
How is it that Jimmie Johnson can be so dominant when NASCAR is so competitive?
The rules are so tight that no one driver should be so prevailing. But Jimmie Johnson always seems to peak at the right time. How does he do it?
Sunday at Dover International Speedwayâ€™s Monster Mile Johnson started from the pole in the AAA 400. He led the most laps and won the race. â€œMaximum pointsâ€ is how crew chief Chad Knaus described it.
According to Johnson it was â€œthe weekend we would dream of, were able to get it with winning the pole, leading the most laps and winning the race.â€
Johnson had little pressure from 2nd place finishing Jeff Burton in the closing laps. Although Burtons lap times were quicker than Johnsons at times Johnson was able to maintain a 2.637 second lead at the checkered flag; in part thanks to a speedy green flag pit stop by the No. 48 crew.
Mid-race A.J. Allmendinger, driving the No. 43 Ford, looked to have the car to beat. But Allmendinger ran over a ten cent washer and cut a tire. He went 2 laps down before rebounding to finish 10th.
â€œWe played it smart,â€ said Jimmie Johnson about the press by Allmendinger.Â â€œHe wasn’t a Chase guy. When he got to me and put pressure on me, I let him by.Â I just need to worry about those 11 other drivers and really about myself.Â Way too early to worry about stuff.Â Come the end of the race, he wasn’t there to have to fight with.â€
The only other serious challenger to the No. 48 was Kyle Busch. Then Busch scraped the wall and lost the handle on his No. 18 Toyota. He was not a contender for the win after that.
The win moved Jimmie Johnson to 2nd in the Sprint Cup point standings â€“ just 35 points behind Denny Hamlin with 8 races to go.
This is the time of the year that Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 crew always seem to bring out the big guns. They seem to pick up the pace when the Sprint Cup is on the line.
According to crew chief Chad Knaus it is the people on the team that make the difference. â€œWe work hard to make sure we have the right people on the team, said Knaus.Â â€œI think we do.Â We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.Â I can promise you, if something goes wrong, something falls short of what their goal is, there’s nobody that feels worse than what that individual does.Â To try to motivate from that point is unnecessary when you got guys like that.â€
Can Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team pull it all together one more time for a 5th championship? And how will that championship be received by the fans of NASCAR?