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Johnson chases NASCAR history

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By Lauren Garcia / Asst. News Editor


By Lauren Garcia / Asst. News Editor

Jimmie Johnson is doing one heck of a job in this season’s Nascar sprint cup series and despite the very few accidents Johnson has encountered, he has definitely had lady luck on his side.

With one race left in the chase, that being Homestead in Miami, Johnson doesn’t have too much to worry about. After taking the green flag in Homestead, he will eliminate the other 10 chase competitors. Except for teammate Mark Martin who is currently second in the chase, 108 points behind Johnson.
To clinch the 2009 Sprint Cup Series Championship, all Johnson needs to do is finish 25th or better at Homestead.  As long as Johnson, his team, and crew chief Chad Knaus play it safe and continue to work together as a team, they’ve got this one in the bag.
However, Martin has definitely put up a good fight this season and for an old guy, he hasn’t been doing too bad at all. He is the oldest driver in the chase and has been competitive week in and week out. This year, Martin’s average finish has been 13th while his average chase race finishing position is 8th.
Johnson’s average finishing position this year is 11th, while 9th is his average chase race finish. Both Johnson and Martin’s average finish at Homestead is 13th, so it should make for a very interesting race, a nail-biter to be exact.
Tony Stewart has also had a pretty successful year, especially since it is his first season as owner of his own race team.  Both of his cars made the chase, plus Stewart has won five times this season. Not bad for a first time team.
In previous interviews Tony has said he is completely satisfied with the performance of his two race teams this year.
Also, Juan Pablo Montoya has done a great job this season, he currently sits sixth in the chase. This is a major turn around for Montoya who was expected to be successful last year, but unfortunately did not deliver.
This year however not only did Montoya make the chase, but he has gotten two poles, and 18 top ten finishes. From the success we have seen this year from Montoya, we can definitely expect to see him excel even more in the coming year. 
What happened to Kyle Busch? With such a dominating performance last season, it came as a surprise to most people seeing Kyle outside the chase looking in. Busch has one half as many races as he did last year and was only in the top five of the chase standings for two weeks in the beginning of the season.  It’s safe to say Kyle is ready to get the 2010 season under way.
As for his brother Kurt, he has achieved the polar opposite. Kurt has one twice so far and is fourth in the point standings. He has filled a spot in the top five of the points for the majority of the year. Not too shabby.
Essentially, it boils down to Jimmie Johnson, with three consecutive championships, and Mark Martin, who has finished as a top five chase contender 12 times. 
If, or when, Johnson wins his fourth consecutive championship, he will be the first in Nascar’s history to have this in his resume. 
No other driver in the history of the sport has come close to winning four consecutive championships except for retired driver Junior Johnson, whom Johnson tied with last year. 
Let us raise our hats in honor of the soon to be first ever four-time consecutive champion, Jimmie Johnson.

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