Jimmie Johnson accomplished something this weekend that no driver has done in over 30 years; he swept Daytona. With a win in the Great American Race and a victory in Saturday’s Coke Zero 400, Johnson became the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 to win both races at Daytona, joining Fireball Roberts, Cale Yarborough and LeeRoy Yarbrough as the only drivers to ever accomplish the feat.
“Gosh, growing up in Southern California and watching Bobby Allison, and I remember where I was the day [Bobby's son] Davey passed away (after a 1993 helicopter crash at Talladega),” Johnson said. “That’s how much the Allison family meant to me. I always thought it was great to watch Bobby and Davey race, and to do anything Bobby has done is pretty special.”
Last season, Daytona was not nice to Johnson. He was taken out of the race on the second lap of the Daytona 500 and in the July Coke Zero 400, he finished 36th after another wreck. This season, he was out for revenge and to show that he still could be a contender at plate tracks and boy has he proven that.
Johnson kicked off the season with a win and that put him on top of the point’s standings and since then, well, he has pretty much stayed there. Since the Daytona 500, Johnson has only been as low as third in points and that was for two weeks; Bristol and Fontana. During the course of the season so far, he has been as much as one full race ahead of second place. To say he is on a mission to reclaim his spot at the head table would be an understatement.
It’s been two seasons since Johnson sat on stage at the Sprint Cup Series Awards banquet. Two seasons since he hoisted up the Sprint Cup Series trophy in Homestead-Miami. Two season since Johnson was on top of the world. After losing the Championship last season at the very end, Johnson is more determined than ever to reclaim the spot that he held for five straight years.
Jimmie Johnson, with his history making victory this weekend, is well on his way to solidifying his spot in the NASCAR history books. Love him or hate him, he one of the best drivers NASCAR has seen and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon.