Defending a NASCAR Champion

Seems almost implausible that a reigning champion from any sport would need defending, but in NASCAR it seems that that is exactly what is needed when talking about Jimmie Johnson.

Why is that? Why do so many dislike JJ? Why do so many scoff at me when I say I am a fan of Number 48? Why do they say I’m a bandwagon jumper?

Is it because he wins so often? Is it that people don’t like consistency? Are they tired of seeing the same person (or team) win all the time?

Well I guess I need to defend myself as well. I’m not a bandwagon jumper. I’ve been a Jimmie fan from day one when he started his Sprint Cup career full time in 2002.

I remember his first win at his home track in Fontana. I remember his first sweep at Dover winning both races that same year becoming the first rookie to EVER sweep races at one track in a season.

He has NEVER been lower than fifth in the final points standing in 7 full seasons and is poised to be there again, if not win his fourth. He was also the first and only rookie to lead the points in 2002.

He has collected no less than 20 top tens each full season he has raced in, including this one. That’s over sixty percent of his 286 races to date. He has a total of 26 DNF’s, less than ten percent.

So why do so many dislike a driver of such high caliber? Is it because he keeps beating their drivers? Gets caught cheating once in awhile? Newsflash, pretty much every driver or team has cheated in one way or another. Has won three Championships in a row? And may win a fourth?

I just don’t understand. Sure I would like to see other drivers win. I am after all a Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex, Jr. fan too.

I’m sure there were folks back a few years ago that loathed Dale Sr. or Richard Petty or Cale Yarborough for their feats on the track. I just don’t understand why people can’t appreciate what is unfolding right in front of them.

Here’s what I think. Jimmie Johnson and the number 48 team is talented. I mean really talented. More so than a lot of other drivers and teams. There are a lot of talented guys and gals in racing. It just seems to me that Jimmie is at the top of his game.

And there isn’t many people up there next to him, and if that’s what’s bugging people, then that’s their loss.


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