2013 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
Plenty of celebrations for Jimmie
Johnson after making NASCAR’s
Chase once again. After that,
taking the Sprint Cup title is by
no means a done deal for JJ…
but it sometimes feels that way!
Among all of Jimmie Johnson’s many
impressive career statistics, here’s the
most shocking one: In the 12 years JJ
has raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,
not once over the course of a full season
has teammate Jeff Gordon earned more
points on track than Johnson.
While it’s true that in Johnson’s rookie
season of 2002, Gordon ended the year
with 4,607 points to Johnson’s 4,600,
that’s only because NASCAR had
penalized Jimmie 25 points for a rules
violation in one of the races. In the other
11 seasons, Johnson has always
outpointed Gordon straight up.
Think about that for a minute. When
Johnson was a rookie, Gordon was coming
off his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup title
in seven years and many believed he’d
be the first driver to eclipse the seven
championships won by Richard Petty and
Dale Earnhardt. The debate then was,
“Would Gordon become the statistically
best driver in the sport’s history?”
Gordon has since gone on to win
88 Sprint Cup races, third only to Petty’s
200 and the 105 won by David Pearson,
but now he’s not even the best driver
at Hendrick Motorsports.
Two other Johnson stats worth noting:
Of the 100 races run in the 10 editions
of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Johnson
has won 24. And he got his sixth NASCAR
Sprint Cup championship in 2013 at a
younger age then either Petty or
Earnhardt earned theirs.
Bad news for the haters, then: Jimmie
Johnson is a long way from done yet.
2013 NASCAR SPRINT CUP CHAMPION
WORDS Tom Jensen
MAIN IMAGE Tom Pennington/Getty Images