NASCAR Driver Feature Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson

Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson holds daughter Genevieve Marie before driver introductions at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As we set to publish our first driver feature, NASCAR announced penalties for the No. 48 team as a result of rules infractions prior to the Daytona 500.  Pending the team’s appeal, Johnson carries a 25-point penalty and the team will be without crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec for six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

Johnson overcame points penalties in two different seasons, going on to claim Sprint Cup Series Championships.

We’d love to know what you think. Are the penalties too tough or did they get off easy?  If upheld, will the penalties keep Johnson and company from winning its sixth title in seven years?  Please share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.  In any event, we hope you enjoy the feature on “Five Time,” and each of the drivers we will feature this year leading to Ford Championship Weekend (Nov 16-18).

 

In a nod to our 11th consecutive year hosting championship races in NASCAR’s top three national series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series – we are featuring 11 driver profiles in advance of Ford Championship Weekend, set for Nov 16-18.

Our first feature is of the man who drives the No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT tools Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson.

This year he’s looking to secure American motorsports most coveted trophy for the sixth time.  Johnson is the first driver to win five consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, each of them coming at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

He notched his first win in 2002 (April 28 at Auto Club Speedway), the same year Homestead-Miami Speedway first hosted the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Ford 400. 

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that the 2009 AP Male Athlete of the Year is always among the favorites to reign supreme following the Ford 400. 

 

“It's unbelievable.  I've been working my whole life to get in this position to be a champion, it's what I've always wanted to be, and to now be a champion means the world to me” 

-- Jimmie Johnson following his first championship in 2006 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

 

We caught up with him recently, where he shared his feelings on the track and the 2012 season

 

Q. With all of the memories and great moments you have had at Homestead-Miami Speedway, what runs through your mind when you think of the track?

A. Just the stress.  I go all the way back to 2004, 2005. 

Then, obviously, the five [Sprint Cup championships] we’ve won.  It’s all been so stressful.  Some of [the races] I’ve left with great disappointment.  Then, in five of them, I’ve left on top of the world…And then I left Miami with a big hangover come Monday morning.

 

Q. Do you like the speedway?

A. It’s a great racetrack.  I really, really like the reconfiguration that has taken place there.  It provides multiple lanes and a great race.  I really want to be a contender when I come back in 2012.

 

Q. What’s the key to returning to championship form and finally delivering Hendrick Motorsports a race victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway?

A. I think we have all of the ingredients.  It’s just not making mistakes.  Staying focused in the right areas. 

 

Q. What’s your outlook for 2012?

A. We had the right recipe for five years.  I really feel like we can do it again.  Even last year, it wasn’t a great year for us and our equipment with the No. 14 car won.  So, we have the stuff there, we just need to make sure we work the best that we can together as a group.


Jimmie Johnson wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship trophy for a record fifth consecutive time in 2010 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

   

No. 48 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2006 prior to his first championship

Photo courtesy of Getty Images


 

Johnson dances atop his car hood in 2008 after he “smoked’ the field to win another NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

   

 
The skies over Homestead-Miami Speedway light up over Victory Lane in 2009 following the No. 48 car’s fourth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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