Jimmie Johnson

Encouraging NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie crop looks to Daytona

Young hires filled with potential trump vets in "other half" of Cup garage
How this season's pack of talented NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookies will shape up against others who have come before them in the Daytona 500.

At Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage is split into two sections. The plum positioning — garage stalls closer to restrooms and track entry and exit — are given out based on last year’s final point standings. A quick lap around what DIS dubs the “Sprint Fan Zone” will point out the obvious: It segregates the haves and the have-nots in NASCAR’s money-making division at a time in the sport where the delineation between the two has never been greater.

2014 NASCAR Driver Profile: Jimmie Johnson

Johnson has Petty, Earnhardt, in his sights
2014 driver profile for Jimmie Johnson on the NASCR Sprint Cup circuit.

From Five-Time, to Six-Pack, to ... best ever? It might be a bit early for that, but there’s no question that Jimmie Johnson belongs in the conversation. His 2013 championship gives him six and places the California native just one short of the Cup Series record, held by two of the sport’s immortals, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Sixty-six career wins are good for eighth all-time, and at age 38, he’s left that total plenty of room to grow.

NASCAR Speedweeks feature Dillon, Hamlin; more passing and more wrecking

Through the Gears: Four things we've learned during Speedweeeks
Austin Dillon on the Pole for the Daytona 500; Denny Hamlin wins the NASCR Sprint Unlimited. All the things you need to know from Daytona.

On Sunday, a black No. 3 car sat shining in the Daytona Beach sun, cameras focused on a number not seen in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition since the 2001 Daytona 500. It’s been 13 years since that tragic end, but closure has finally come — not in the form of an Earnhardt, but in 23-year-old Austin Dillon.  Austin Dillon

NASCAR Sprint Unlimited: What we learned in Daytona

Denny Hamlin wins a wild one to open NASCAR's 2014 season
Rundown and reaction from the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.

Denny Hamlin is loaded for bear. The winner of the 2013 season finale in Homestead, Fla., Hamlin won all three segments of Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway in an event that unofficially kicked off NASCAR’s 2014 season.

NASCAR Media Roundtable: Is Jimmie Johnson's reign comparable to any the sport has seen?

The fourth in a nine-part feature addressing the biggest issues in NASCAR entering 2014
Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 48 team has won six of the last eight Sprint Cup championships. In a day when parity in professional sports is not merely encouraged but is the norm, is this team’s sustained success comparable to anything ever seen in NASCAR?

Each day from mid-February through late November, a small band of motorsports journalists work nearly around the clock — this being the digital age — to keep rabid NASCAR fans as up-to-the-second informed as possible. Many of these media members are ensconced in the sport’s “traveling circus,” working in garage areas, media centers and pressboxes nearly 40 weeks a year. So who better to go to for a “state of the sport” talk than them?

NASCAR's Greatest: Petty, Earnhardt ... or Johnson?

Analyzing whether Jimmie Johnson belongs in the G.O.A.T. conversation with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt
Athlon Sports contributor Vito Pugliese dissects the argument that Jimmie Johnson belongs in the conversation with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt as NASCAR's greatest driver.

By winning a sixth Sprint Cup Series championship, Jimmie Johnson has crept into the “greatest NASCAR driver” conversation with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. It’s hard to argue with Johnson’s stats: six titles in eight years; never finishing lower than sixth in the standings since his full-time arrival in 2002; one title away from tying Petty and Earnhardt; 66 career wins, which currently find him eighth all-time — trailing Earnhardt’s 76 and within striking distance of Hall of Famers Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison.

Jimmie Johnson, with little flare, just keeps on winning in NASCAR

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Four things we learned following Jimmie Johnson's sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in Homestead, Fla.

When I think of Jimmie Johnson and Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup championship performance, I’m reminded of a simple analogy Rick Hendrick brought up after the race.

“I like to use the Parcells quote,” the winning car owner said. “You are what your record says you are.”

Johnson, Kenseth, Harvick to Settle NASCAR Championship in Homestead

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Geoffrey Miller highlights the five storylines to watch as the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit visits Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Ford EcoBoost 400.

1. Face the facts: Cup championship is Johnson’s to lose  Jimmie Johnson
There’s a good share of NASCAR fans who probably aren’t too happy with what’s coming Sunday afternoon with the sport’s five-time champion, Jimmie Johnson, on the verge of making it six — all in a span of nine years.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Homestead

David Smith crunches the numbers to reveal some telling stats for the Ford EcoBoost 400
David Smith crunches the numbers for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' finale, the EcoBoost Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Matt Kenseth needs a miracle. For starters, he must run beyond his 13.8-place average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, but a little luck in the name of a bad Jimmie Johnson outing would be the supplemental boost needed to overcome a 28-point deficit and win his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.  Matt Kenseth

Harvick wins Phoenix, Johnson pulls away in NASCAR title race

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Phoenix International Raceway
Four things we learned following Kevin Harvick's win in NASCAR's AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

If Jimmie Johnson wins his sixth NASCAR Spring Cup championship, Phoenix will have been its defining moment. It’s not over until the fat lady sings, of course, but the next six days sure feel like a coronation with his No. 48 needing to finish just 23rd or better at Homestead. It’s a well-deserved top story for a driver that has dominated Sprint Cup racing for the past decade.

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