Come on folks, I know you’re probably tired of seeing Jimmie Johnson win races and championships, but let’s get off our high horses. and give Old Five Time what he’s due. The guy is without doubt one of the best pure stock car drivers I have ever seen, and I have been around for a while.
He is blessed with the best car owners in Nascar, and arguably the best crew chief in Chad Knaus , that sits on a pit box. I know, you say that with the assets Jimmie has at his fingertips, he should win some races, but I propose to you that Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Kasey Kahne all have the same good cars, and the same great organization as Jimmie, and they are not winning championships every year. In fact, the only other one with rings would be the Gordon guy.
Do you remember back at the Y2K? Jeff Gordon was the man to beat. Didn’t you get tired of seeing him and crew chief Ray Evernham winning a lot of races, and some championships? I know I did. In today’s world, I am a Jeff Gordon fan, but in those days, my driver Ernie Irvan had retired, and I found myself cheering Bobby Labonte. Jeff was always beating Bobby and Mark Martin.
Mark Martin finished as a bridesmaid five times in his long career, the last being in 2009 where he lost to Jimmie Johnson. He lost once to Jeff Gordon in 1998, and to Tony Stewart in 2002.
Dale Earnhardt won seven Winston Cup titles in his career. Were you tired of seeing the Intimidator win? Come on now, he beat poor old Mark twice, in 1990 and 1994. Dale won races with a great pit crew, and loads of talent.
Jimmie Johnson has won 60 Sprint Cup races in his eleven year Nascar career. That is phenominal in today’s racing environment. He has 166 top 5’s and 248 top 10’s. That’s a huge career, and he’s only 37 years old. He still has another 8-10 years left. I keep thinking he will run into some basic bad luck pretty soon, but it just hasn’t happened. He is like a cat with nine lives.
Jimmie possess three basic qualities that are inherent to great drivers. He possess an uncanny sense of timing. When to go and when to wait. He has tremendous knowledge of how his car works. He know how he wants the car to perform, and he is able to communicate the problems with ease to Chad Knaus. Last but not least, he know how to drive, understands the racing grooves, and has large set of cahones.
So let’s get off of his case, and enjoy a champion while he is here giving us his heart and sole every weekend. Don’t be one of those that jump on the band wagon when he’s done racing, and miss it while it was live.
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