Monday, November 6, 2017

Jimmie Johnson Will Arrive At Phoenix Raceway In A Must-Win Situation

Jimmie Johnson Will Arrive At Phoenix Raceway In A Must-Win Situation

2017 Championship's Hopes In Big Trouble #SE7EN

With the support of his family, Jimmie Johnson’s racing career started on 50cc motorcycles at age 5. Father Gary worked for a tire company while mother Cathy drove a school bus. With Jimmie and younger brothers Jarit and Jessie in tow, the family spent most weekends camping and doing what they loved – racing up and down the West Coast.

Jimmie Johnson is one of the most accomplished professional athletes of his era. The only race car driver in history to be named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, he is a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, sharing the all-time record with stock car racing icons Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

Jimmie Johnson Will Arrive At Phoenix Raceway In A Must-Win Situation

As the full-time driver (2002) of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, he won his first Cup race in his home state of California in just his 13th start. The 2016 season was one for the record books. When Johnson won the second race of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he tied Earnhardt for seventh on the all-time wins list. Three races later, he won in California for his 77th career win, and, after a 24-race winless streak, he claimed victories at Charlotte Motor Speedway and then Martinsville Speedway.

With the win at Martinsville in the third round, Johnson secured his spot in the finals at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In dramatic fashion, he started last and finished first, winning for the first time at Homestead-Miami and scoring his seventh championship – matching the record held by legends Petty and Earnhardt.

Jimmie Johnson Will Arrive At Phoenix Raceway In A Must-Win Situation

Unfortunately, the 2017 Chase has been a struggle for Johnson. Johnson recorded only one top-five (Dover) and two top-tens (Chicago & Charlotte) in the last eight starts. His twenty-seventh place finish Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway has placed him in a ‘Must-Win’ Situation.

Texas was a disaster from the start of the weekend for the No. 48 Chevrolet. The car missed virtually all of the first round of practice with a fuel pressure problem. Then, 68 laps into the race, Johnson had to pit due to a chattering tire.

“We have to figure something out. Kansas was a lot like this . . . just extremely difficult; drive the car carrying entry speed, and then we had a loose wheel and then contact on the restart. We started off in a hole and just keep digging a deeper one as we went. Definitely disappointed and honestly, I just feel bad for my team . . . these guys are working so hard and to work this hard and not see any speed go back in the car and have bad results the last three weeks has been pretty disappointing.” Johnson summarized during his NBCSN track interview.

Playoff Leaderboard

  1. Martin Truex Jr. (4,168 points)
  2. Kyle Busch (4,118 points)
  3. Kevin Harvick (4,112 points)
  4. Brad Keselowski (4,111 points)
  5. Denny Hamlin (4,092 points)
  6. Ryan Blaney (4,089 points)
  7. Chase Elliott (4,062 points)
  8. Jimmie Johnson (4,060 points)

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