Jimmie Johnson won his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup title tonight, leaving him one championship shy of NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. The man is a machine.
It was all the characteristics that have come to define Jimmie Johnson, wrapped up in one glorious South Florida evening. It was smooth, it was clinical, and for long stretches it appeared effortless. When it finally ended, with fireworks bursting overhead and confetti floating in the breeze and a big silver trophy held high, it was extraordinary — just like the driver himself.
Johnson left no doubt in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, running up front for most of the event and finishing ninth to easily secure his sixth championship at NASCAR’s premier level. He entered Sunday with a 28-point edge over second-place Matt Kenseth and was never really challenged, his silence over the radio speaking volumes about the strength of his No. 48 car.
Johnson is arguably one of the greatest drivers of all time, and even though he wins and wins and wins, you can’t even hate the guy. As Jerry Seinfeld once quipped, “He’s too nice.”
Congratulations, Jimmie; you da man!
I knew there was a reason Jimmie Johnson is one of my favorite drivers.
Jimmie Johnson toured parts of tornado-ravaged Oklahoma Thursday, and it was a gut-wrenching experience for the five-time Sprint Cup champion.
Johnson, whose wife Chandra is from Oklahoma and grew up about two hours from the hardest hit areas of the state, made the visit in conjunction with sponsor Lowe’s and the charity Feed the Children.
Having pledged his winnings from last week at Charlotte to help tornado victims, Johnson said he is still determining how he can help more. His foundation annually gives money for projects at schools in Oklahoma.
Johnson’s purse from last week’s race is just under $150,000. No small beans.
Don’t get me wrong; I like Jimmie Johnson, but Dale Earnhardt, Jr just missed out on the win, and Jeff Gordon finished 20th.
This was Johnson’s second Daytona 500 win.
Last year, the five-time champ wrecked on Lap 2 of the Daytona 500. This year, making his 400th career start, Johnson outpaced the entire field and won convincingly, holding off challenges from Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second. Mark Martin came home third.
The 55th Daytona 500 made history days before the green flag flew. Danica Patrick delivered on a measure of the hype surrounding her by becoming the first woman to ever qualify for the pole in a Sprint Cup race. While she couldn’t initially capitalize on her leading position — Jeff Gordon passed her almost immediately — Patrick remained close to the front for most of the day. When she took the lead on Lap 90, she became the first woman ever to lead a lap under green at the Daytona 500. She entered the final lap in third place, and would go on to finish eighth.
An eighth place finish for Danica is nothing to sneeze at. That said, let’s see what she can do on the mile and a half tri-ovals. If she can succeed there, I’ll be more impressed.
This week’s Fantasy Stats are below the fold.