|08/29/19||DIBENNEDETTO NASCAR'S ROCKY BALBOA|
|06/26/19||FROM JOURNEYMAN DRIVER TO HALL OF FAMER|
|06/18/19||WINNERS NOT ADDING UP|
|05/25/19||THE 600 IS STILL A CROWN JEWEL|
|05/15/19||NEXT TWO WEEKS COULD BE TOO GOOD|
|04/10/19||WALTRIP A TWO-WAY HALL OF FAMER|
FOR JIMMIE JOHNSON - THE NUMBERS ALL ADD UP TO SECOND PLACE
Have you ever stopped to ponder we are in the midst of greatness, that we are blessed to live in a time and a place where we can watch, perhaps, the best driver in NASCAR history ply his trade week in, week out? That's where I think we're at with Jimmie Johnson. In an era where there are more potential winners taking the green flag, the 7-time champion towers above the competition, the tallest of the redwoods in stock car racing's elite forest.
Last Sunday at Dover, Johnson grabbed his 83rd Monster Energy Cup Series checkered flag, tying him for sixth on the all-time win list. The next victory will move him into a tie for fourth with Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison. Ten more and he'll tie Jeff Gordon and Johnson's within 22 of catching David Pearson, who sits second with 105 wins. He can't catch Richard Petty at 200, but the others I do believe will bite the dust.
At age 41, JJ shows no signs of letting up and reminds me a lot of Bobby Allison, who between the ages of 44 and 46 went to victory lane 16 times and captured his last checkered flag when he was 50-years-old. Bobby never lost the will to compete and Johnson seems to enjoy the battle even more now than he did at the beginning of his career.
The other similarity is they both were committed to staying in shape, although Bobby went about that a different way. If you had asked him to run a hundred yards he probably wouldn't have made it without throwing up, but he when wasn't in a Cup car "B.A." ran three or four short track races a week in anything and everything with a steering wheel. Bobby didn't pump iron, yet he was in rock hard racing shape. Johnson, on the other hand, is a fitness freak who pedals hundreds of miles each week on his bike, lifts weights, and follows a diet plan so he's digging as hard on the last lap as he is the first one.
Now, it's taken Johnson 556 starts to get to 83 wins, averaging a checkered flag about every seven starts. I'm figuring a minimum of three more victories this year and at least five in the ensuing four seasons. Doing the math, it adds up to 106 trips to victory lane by the end of the 2021 season when Johnson will be age 45.
I believe this will happen not because Johnson is a great driver or has a great owner in Rick
Johnson is a juggernaut trampling through the history books in a way we're not likely to see again. You haters and Twitter trolls ought to just sit back and, like the rest of us, enjoy the experience and be able to tell your grandchildren you got to watch what many believe is NASCAR's GOAT - GreatestOfAllTime.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------BY THE NUMBERS…
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Chase Elliott came home fifth at Dover after averaging a 30th place finish in the four previous races heading into last Sunday's AAA 400.