Cup Stuff Blog

Ruminating All Things NASCAR

By The Numbers, It’s Johnsons Title To Lose

Posted by keithmurray on October 6, 2008

Whether you’re a fan or a hater, you have to respect the amazing numbers that Jimmie Johnson has put up since he entered the NASCAR scene merely 6 years ago. His numbers and performance stand head and shoulders above the competition during those years. He has the highest winning percentage of any active driver, is the back-to-back reigning champion, and – if the numbers are any indication – this is his championship to lose.

Anyone that has followed NASCAR the last few years knows that when the weather starts to cool off and the leaves start to change colors, it is time for the 48 team to crank up. Right now, Johnson is leading Carl Edwards by 72 points and The Biff by 77. Unfortunately for those guys and any other callers, we are heading to what have historically been Johnson’s best tracks. Check out these stats since the inception of the Chase format:

Last year, Johnson stumbled in what he terms as his home track – he came in 14th at Charlotte. But the three previous years, his finishes were second, first, and first. Average Charlotte fall race finish – 4.5

At the Martinsville chase race, his last four finishes there (starting with the latest in 2007) are first, first, third, and first. Average finish – 1.5

Last four Chase races in Atlanta – first, second, 16th, and first for an average of 5th.

The Cup series did not run in Texas the first year of the Chase, we actually had a REAL race at Darlington – but that is another subject. The last three fall race finishes for Johnson in Texas – first, second, and fifth for an average finish of 2.6

At Phoenix, the great numbers continue with fall race finishes of first, second, seventh, and sixth for an average of 4th.

At the finale in Homestead, Johnson had a horrible night and finished 40th in 2005. His last four finishes there are 7th, 9th, 40, and 2nd, for an average finish of 14.5. Take out the 40th place finish and the average is 6th. However, the last two years all Johnson had to do was play it safe to win his championships.

But here is the most impressive stat of all – in the last two seasons, he has an average finish of 3.6 over these last six tracks. The numbers do not bode well for those trying to run down Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus. For all the talk earlier this year of how bad they were running, they have shown again that they know when it is time to turn it on and pull away from the competition – and they are poised to do it yet again and be catapulted into some esteemed company with a Championship Threepeat.

If Johnson can continue to do what he has done the last 4 years since the Chase was implemented, he is going to be nearly impossible to catch. All that the others can do at this point is run as hard as they can and hope that maybe the 48 team has some sort of hiccup. But judging by history, it would definitely be unlike them to do such a thing. It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings, but she may be warming up backstage for the matinee.

As always, please remember to pray for our troops in harm’s way, and especially for this upcoming election. Thanks for reading and God bless!

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