Jimmie Johnson

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

At Long Last, the Son Rises
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<p> Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally ascends to the top of Athlon Sports' Horsepower Rankings after breaking a 143-race winless skid with a victory at Michigan International Speedway.</p>
2012

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
We’ve said all along that Earnhardt’s consistency warranted the top spot, but a lack of any wins kept him from it. Well, the 143-race national nightmare is over, and Junior can now lead the way.

2. Jimmie Johnson
Replace the engine and start in the rear of the field? No problem for Chad Knaus and crew. They just handed the ball to J.J., who drove it to a fifth-place finish with blistered tires and an empty gas tank.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Michigan

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.</p>
2012

From the mountains of Pennsylvania to the rolling hills of Michigan, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400.

Racing on yet another repaved track, teams have two test sessions throughout the day on Thursday as they attempt to get acclimated with the new track surface, the higher speeds and how tires will react.

Joey Logano Wins at Pocono

Logano scores second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory
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<p> Joey Logano got by Mark Martin to win his first race of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pocono 400.</p>
2012

Of all the race tracks to add a little spice to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Pocono Raceway was not expected to be it. A 2.5-mile, flat tri-oval that’s seen its share of strung-out racing, the speedway was also recently repaved — a move that doesn’t lend itself to door-banging action.

Sometimes, though, the racing gods smile on the fans when and where they least expect it.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Pocono

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Pocono 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Pocono 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.</p>
2012

This week has certainly been an interesting one in the world of NASCAR.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Dover

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's FedEx 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's FedEx 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway.</p>
2012

The two-week homestretch in Charlotte is now in the books and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the Monster Mile in Dover, Del., for Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.

Not only is Dover one of the most demanding tracks on the NASCAR schedule, it also kicks off the seven-week summer stretch that takes the series to the newly-repaved tracks of Pocono and Michigan, the road course in Sonoma, night races at Kentucky and Daytona, then to New Hampshire before another break in the action.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Charlotte

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.</p>
2012

A happy Memorial Day weekend to all the fantasy NASCAR racers out there. This week it’s the most demanding 600 miles on the schedule, the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The annual tradition dating back to 1960 tests the best of driver, equipment and team. Coming one week after the All-Star Race, the Coke 600 also marks the next phase of the NASCAR season.

Could a Kurt and Kyle Busch combo work at Joe Gibbs Racing?

Oh Brother, Where the @%&$ Art Thou?
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<p>  </p> <p class="p1"> As Kurt Busch works to rebuild his image and NASCAR Sprint Cup career, there may be an opening with a team and a sponsor that helps him come full-circle.</p>
2012

On Tuesday, Toyota became the latest manufacturer to unveil its 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar. It is the second generation of the Car of Tomorrow, which debuted in the 2007 season to jeers and sneers — that is until Michael McDowell walked away from a head-on impact at 200 mph, tumbling down the three stories of banking and emerging unscathed. Since then, most have been on board with the new car, more so following the early 2010 refresh that saw the spoiler and the splitter going the way of the Convertible Division.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

The All-Star Edition
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<p> The Backseat Drivers Fan Council weighs in on the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race from Charlotte Motor Speedway.</p>
2012

Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council don’t hold back on their opinions but the comments this week were as sharp and direct as they have ever been. They also weren’t afraid to express their opinions about their fellow fans — good and bad.

Keselowski Rolling, Kahne Gaining, Hall of Fame Voters Voting

The Long and Short of It
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<p> Following Jimmie Johnson's victory in the NASCAR All-Star Race, Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.</p>
2012

Brad Keselowski was smiling but you could sense the resolve in the 28-year-old after he finished second to Jimmie Johnson in last weekend’s Sprint All-Star Race.

“I think we’re a really young team that’s growing and getting better every week, every day and every hour,” Keselowski said moments after climbing from this car. “We got beat by a five-time champ. I think we’re doing pretty good, but I want that one more spot.”

Jimmie Johnson Dominates NASCAR All-Star Race

Strategy, speed, execution propel Team 48 to win
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<p> Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus put together winning strategy to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race in Charlotte.</p>
2012

Prior to Jimmie Johnson’s win in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on May 12, it seemed Hendrick Motorsports would never get that elusive 200th Cup win. Its 16-race slide in between wins was relative in NASCAR terms, but for an organization lugging around tractor trailer loads of “200 Wins” caps and assorted other merchandise, it was time to hit the milestone and move on.

It turns out, moving on is just what Hendrick Motorsports has done.

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