2013 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
Plenty of NASCAR drivers
are consistent, plenty of
NASCAR drivers are
excellent, but there are
none who are so
consistently excellent as
Jimmie Johnson. Only
once has he finished
outside the top five in the
championship; only once
has he scored fewer than
three wins in a season.
THE JOHNSON ERA
Petty’s tally of
200 wins won’t
be beaten, but
eight more years
could see JJ pass
( 105) for second.
WINS HIT RATE
66 fROm 435
32 fROm 435 Pole-hunting glory
has never been
a priority for the
No. 48, simply
because the big
points are earned
on race day…
POLES HIT RATE
Picking brilliant statistics from Jimmie Johnson’s NASCAR career isn’t easy; there are too many of them. But how about the fact that he always scores
more than 20 top- 10 finishes in NASCAR’s 36-race season? Or that in 2004 and ’ 10, he finished in the top five 20 times? From 43 cars, that’s amazing.
THE JOY OF SIX
2002 2005 2008 2011 2003 2006 2009 20122013 2004 2007 2010
three team members on the 48 car who
have been there from the beginning are
Knaus, Johnson and car chief Ron Malec.
“A lot of people on the 48 moved on to
bigger and better jobs,” says Knaus. “When
you’re able to bring new, fresh people into
a proven commodity, you get some spice,
you get some life.”
Johnson has eight victories each at
Dover and Martinsville, two tracks that
have been in the Chase every year since
its inception in 2004. More importantly,
the few tracks where Johnson truly
struggles — Michigan, Bristol and the
two road courses — aren’t in the Chase.
It is expected that NASCAR will make
major schedule changes in 2015, which
could shake things up.
Good teams try to beat other teams.
Great teams try to beat their own limits.
For probably half the teams in the Chase
every year, just making it to NASCAR’s
playoff round satisfies their goals for the
season. Not the 48 team. Their goal is a
championship, nothing less. And they aren’t
shy about playing the intimidation card.
In ’09, Johnson psyched out teammate
Mark Martin at the fall Charlotte race by
announcing that he and Knaus had talked
and decided their goals for the weekend
were to qualify on the pole, lead every
practice session, lead the most laps and
win the race…all of which they did. The
following year, at the championship
contenders’ press conference prior to
Homestead, Johnson destroyed Hamlin.
“I left that press conference thinking,
‘Wow, that was interesting, to say the
(ABOVE) Johnson has
become synonymous with
Hendrick, leading and
winning. (LEf T) A
studious approach and
absorption of details have
reaped dividends, but
Jimmie is still a