Jimmy Johnson

Will Dover throw curve at NASCAR's Chase favorites?

1. Jimmie Johnson has to be the early favorite
There were two surprising events for Jimmie Johnson during the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Dover International Speedway in June. But it was the second one that bit harder.

First, Johnson turned in his worst qualifying performance at Dover since 2007 when his lap of 155.206 mph left him nearly a half-second off of Denny Hamlin’s pole-winning pace and starting the 400-mile race in 24th. It ultimately didn’t matter; Johnson took the lead just after the race’s halfway point.

The Drive for Five

Johnson, Knaus dynasty transcends NASCAR
<p> Jimmie Johnson sits on the verge of history.</p> <p> Check that. Jimmie Johnson has passed the “verge” — he’s sailing into uncharted waters.</p>
Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Johnson’s four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships are a feat never achieved in the 61-year history of the sport. Not by the sport’s king, Richard Petty. Not by the sport’s most beloved and ruthless competitor, Dale Earnhardt. And not by Johnson’s mentor and modern day NASCAR archetype, Jeff Gordon.

In fact, winning four titles consecutively in any professional league is almost unheard of in today’s sports landscape. But Johnson already has four in the bag, and is aiming — with deadly accuracy — at a fifth.