Did we know Jimmie Johnson was THIS good? – U

September 15, 2014 - photo frame

This has not looked good.

His svelte support and three-day stubble are a same as they were this time final year, though Jimmie Johnson — a biggest NASCAR motorist of his epoch — has not looked like Jimmie.

His 3 wins and 8 tip 5s to this indicate tie career lows for any of his championship seasons. His 3 Did Not Finishes jump off a page, as does that five-race widen from Jul 6-August 10, when his normal outcome was 31st place.

ESPN researcher Rusty Wallace pronounced that he’s “personally concerned” that a Johnson of aged has nonetheless to materialize. Writers from Fox Sports, The Sporting News, and Bleacher Report all left a El Cajon local out of their Sprint Cup champion predictions — a foresee Las Vegas echoed by deeming him an loser to win a title.

And while there is positively proof to these prognostications, and while there is positively dominance for a No. 48 automobile descending brief of a ultimate goal, and while NASCAR’S new postseason format extinguishes any probability of a certain thing, these 6 difference still request to those picking opposite Jimmie: You’re out of your damn mind.

The Chase for a Sprint Cup starts today, that means Johnson’s right feet usually got 10 pounds heavier. Six times over a past 8 years, a 38-year-old has emerged from this 10-race scuffle as a Cup Series champ — withdrawal him one bashful of restraining Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. for a many all time.

Whether it was Michael Jordan’s Bulls, Chuck Noll’s Steelers, or Derek Jeter’s Yankees, a American sports landscape has seen a share of postseason powers over a past 40 years, though maybe nothing as widespread as Johnson. A demeanour during a numbers– that etch both his leverage in a Chase and a performance-uptick when races matter many — advise he’s as purchase as any tongue-wagging sharpened guard.

Wallace pronounced that Johnson’s usually genuine accountability is that he’s quiet, that Jimmie’s humble, soft-spoken self has kept common sports fans from seeing that he’s one of a preeminent sportsmen of a complicated era.

He competence be right. But we know what? It’s high time they knew.

•••

Quick authority for those unfamiliar to a Chase. The Sprint Cup championship used to be motionless by sum points warranted from a initial competition to a last. This was no doubt fair, though since drivers could build indomitable leads with several weeks to go, a final few races of a deteriorate were mostly irrelevant.

So in 2004, NASCAR done it so that a initial 26 races of a report served as a “regular season,” during that drivers would try and amass adequate points to acquire one of a 10 positions in a Chase. The points would afterwards reset, and those 10 drivers — while still competing in a margin of 40 some-odd cars — would duke it out for a pretension over a final 10 events.

The thought was to not usually emanate suspense, though relation as well. With all a variables in NASCAR, a 10-race window had a intensity to furnish a opposite champion each deteriorate a la a NFL.

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