Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Reflecting on a Great Career

            A couple days ago, Jimmie Johnson won his seventh Sprint Cup title. That's more than the number of NBA titles Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have won. That's more than the number of Lombardi Trophies the Dallas Cowboys have hoisted. That's more than the number of World Series titles the Cubs and White Sox have won--combined. But if you want to grasp how dominant Johnson has been throughout his career, check out his career statistics.
            No. 48's seven titles include a five-year run from 2006 to 2010 where he was the Sprint Cup champion. Johnson is tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for most Sprint Cup Series championships (seven). He's also a four-time Sprint All-Star Race winner, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, a five-time Driver of the Year, and the 2009 Male Athlete of the Year.
            Johnson's career numbers consist of 80 wins, 330 top-ten finishes, and 35 pole positions. In 543 races ran over a 16-year span, that's a very solid track record for a racer. His career also includes 219 top-five finishes, accounting for just over 40% of races that he's finished in the top-five. His 80 wins make him the winningest active driver. He is also the all-time winningest driver at the following tracks:

  • Auto Club Speedway (6)
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway (8)
  • Dover International Speedway (10)
  • Kansas Speedway (3, tied with Jeff Gordon)
  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway (4)
  • Texas Motor Speedway (6)
            The only tracks that Johnson hasn't won a Cup Series race in are Chicagoland Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, and Watkins Glen International (three tracks!!). Johnson is also the only driver to have qualified for the Chase every year since its 2004 inception. 
            In perspective, Jimmie Johnson is easily one of the most dominant NASCAR drivers in recent memory. Here's the thing about Johnson that you need to know: He's not done yet. Barring any changes in heart or freak accidents, Johnson will probably have at least six more years in him to win more races and be in the Chase. This'll mean that even more greatness awaits for Johnson. 

Photo courtesy of NASCAR.com

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