Jimmie Johnson is 10th in the points, he’s never been this far back in any of his five championship seasons. And suddenly everyone is ready to write him off. Finished, done, no six peat story here.
While many fans of NASCAR would welcome an end to the reign of Jimmie Johnson, I can’t buy this for a moment. After all this is still the #48 Lowes Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson still drives it and Chad Knaus is still atop the pitbox. When one of those facts change then you might be able to tell me it’s over.
Scenedaily.com write Jeff Owens seems to think the season is over for Johnson. “Under the point-per-position format, 29 points is the equivalent of 120 points under the old system. Johnson has made up such a deficit before – he rallied from 136 points behind to win his first title in 2006 – but he faces a much tougher road this year.”
Johnson has 8 races to make up that amount. That’s slightly more then 4 points a week, did I mention we are at Dover this weekend? A track Johnson is notoriously good at.
I though all the talk about Johnson not being a factor in the Chase was crazy but now I think some are jumping the shark.
Owens even goes as far off the path to suggest that if Johnson doesn’t win this year then it’s time to break up the dynamic duo.
Let me get this straight for a moment. Johnson and Knaus have won 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup titles in a row, if they fail to win a SIXTH IN SIX YEARS they should separate? Yes because Johnson would be an even better driver without Chad on the box? And Chad could take a lesser driver then Jimmie (Dale Jr?) and lead them to the title just as easy? Oh please.
Chad and Jimmie have just one win this year, that being at Talladega, but it’s not like they just squeaked into the Chase like Dale Jr or Denny Hamlin did. Instead Johnson had a hefty advantage over most of the field. Hardly what you would expect of a team that needed to break up for the better.
This is not a Shaq vs Kobe situation. They are not fighting for control and Rick Hendrick doesn’t need to choose one or the other. He’s already got both signed and putting them together gives him his best shot at yet another championship.This would be the equivalent of the Chicago Bulls taking Phil Jackson away from Michael Jordon. Sure he’s still Michael Jordon and Phil is still Phil but wouldn’t you want the best and the best together if you are Rick?
No other crew chief/driver combination has as much going for it as Jimmie and Chad. No other combination on the circuit even has a championship. To suggest that they need to break up if they don’t win one this year is just looney.
Maybe if Chad and Jimmie go another handful of years and/or struggle to make the Chase you could make that statement but now is just not the time. The dynamic duo is best together and everyone in the garage knows that. Why would either want to let the other 42 teams catch up even a tad?