Thoughts On A Five Time Champion

It’s hard to believe that Jimmie Johnson will not be in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship after today’s race at Homestead is over.  Johnson won the last 5 championships in a row.  (Between 2006-2010).  That is a crazy feat.  (whether you’re a Johnson fan or not, you pretty much have to give him credit)  When Johnson first showed up in the series in 2002 I thought he was pretty cool, but after his rookie year, he seemed to become a little bit too cocky for his own good.  I found Johnson’s cockiness to be annoying.  At that point in time I did not realize that Johnson’s cockiness would soon be justified.  After four seasons, finishing so close, but not close enough, Johnson would claim his first championship at the end of the  2006 season…and he would keep claiming them in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010!  FIVE IN A ROW!

So what were the biggest factors behind Jimmie Johnson’s 5 seasons of absolute success?  I believe that it involved a lot of team work.  The right people in the right places.  Johnson has been privileged to work with arguably the smartest crew chief in NASCAR…that would be Chad Kanaus.  Johnson also drives for Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports, one of the most competitive teams to drive for.  Johnson also has had the privilege to race with great teammates such as Jeff Gordon, whom he has been able to get great information from over the years.

However, with all those things going for Johnson, he will be mathematically unable to defend his 5 championship streak at the end of this race…but who cares?  Jimmie Johnson has already proven he is one of the all-time best drivers in NASCAR.  Nobody will forget about him.  He’s got nothing left to prove.  After Carl Edwards or Tony Stewart wins the championship this afternoon…Jimmie Johnson will still be remembered as a “5 Time Champion.”

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