A few months ago I wrote about how well the 48 team did in Pocono to overcome engine problems and stay in the race and not get a DNF. Not only did they finish the race that weekend, they made up lost laps and finished thirteenth. Jimmie Johnson passed 17 other cars on the lead lap to do it. I said enough then about how great of a champion he is.
I’ll say more now.
After watching the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday, I have a renewed since of Jimmie and Company’s efforts to not only be competitive and win races (even when they don’t), but to win Championships. I’ll admit. I was scared on lap three when he was spun out and went into the wall. Hard.
Not scared for his safety, but for his points lead. Luckily the car wasn’t that bad. Sure, they pretty much rebuilt the car. New complete rear end. New front end, including the steering and suspension. They had to rebuild the body of the car. They had to make sure it met basic NASCAR rules for the track.
Oh and it took them only one hour and ten minutes to do it. Laps lost? 112. Points lost? At that point his 184 point lead was down to 30. He would eventually make up five spots and with Mark Martin’s fourth place finish Jimmie has a 73 point lead.
But you already know all of this. You’re a NASCAR fan right? You watched the race right? So why am I telling you all of this?
It has come to my attention that there are people in this world who don’t like Jimmie Johnson. I can’t figure out why. I think it has something to do with people believing he is unstoppable or infallible. Well they can put those ideas to rest.
He can be stopped. He can loose races. He can loose control of his car, although he almost saved it. He is not unlike every other driver. He is more like them than most people are willing to say.
And when the chips are against this team, they don’t pack up and go home like other drivers. They buckle down and get to work. Seeing Chad Knauss in the garage taking off tires and getting under the car and directing what was going on in there was just as much of an awesome sight as seeing Jimmie cross the finish line in first place.
I just hope I get to see that again this year.