One Last Time To Chase 8

One Last Time To Chase 8

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson announced that 2020 will be his final full-time season. Johnson has driven the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in all 651 of his Cup Series starts dating all the way back to the 2001 season. He has driven the 48 in each of the last 648 races going all the way back to the start of his full-time NASCAR Cup Series career in 2002. The man who became just the third driver to be crowned a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion in 2016 will have one last chance to get that elusive eighth title. 

Being a Jimmie Johnson fan, this announcement is hard to take in. Even though Johnson wasn’t my favorite driver from the beginning, he has been for almost a decade. I was originally a Jeff Gordon fan and he was the one I looked up to. Watching that iconic No. 24 with the flames made me instantly in love with the sport of NASCAR back when I was young. I decided back in 2012 that I wanted a new driver to root for mainly because Gordon wasn’t doing the best. I wanted a driver that I could root for a long time because I knew Gordon’s NASCAR career was coming to a close. That’s when I decided to become a Jimmie Johnson fan and I have been ever since.

Being a die-hard Jimmie Johnson fan these last eight years have been amazing. I saw him accomplish so many things in the NASCAR Cup Series. He broke record after record with wins, championships, and more. I remember back in 2015 when Jeff Gordon announced his retirement. That was a real emotional time for NASCAR fans since he has been in the sport for 23 seasons. Seeing my first ever favorite driver step away was something that I could even comprehend. I never thought I would watch a NASCAR race without Jeff Gordon in that iconic No. 24. That also was the start of NASCAR drivers retiring year after year. Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, and Paul Menard just to name a few. It’s weird not seeing those drivers on track and it will be weird not seeing Jimmie Johnson race that iconic No. 48 after next season.

Jimmie Johnson has had a pretty successful career. He has won seven NASCAR Cup Series championships, tied for the all-time most with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. Johnson is tied for sixth on the all-time wins list with 83 wins equaling the total of Cale Yarborough. He is a two-time Daytona 500 winner, winning in 2006 and 2013. He also has four wins each in the Coca-Cola 600 and the Brickyard 400, and adding two Southern 500’s to his name. Johnson has won five consecutive Cup Series championships from 2006 to 2010 and then adding two more titles in 2013 and 2016. 

Jimmie Johnson will be considered as one of the best drivers in NASCAR history. He has accomplished so much in his career with his seven championships and 83 wins. He has been a class act on and off the track and he’s one of the nicest drivers you’ll meet. 2020 is going to be a very interesting year for sure because of how Johnson has been performing lately. Has hasn’t won the past two seasons and didn’t make the Playoffs for the first time this past season. But he has proven during the second-half of the 2019 season that he is still a contender for wins and a championship. He might get a few wins in 2020 if he keeps up the momentum he had at the end of this season. Only having one season left won’t stop Johnson from going out strong. He is going to contend for race wins and he is going to fight hard to get that eighth elusive NASCAR Cup Series title. Watch the Daytona 500 on Sunday February 16, 2020 at 1:00 P.M. EST on Fox to see Johnson chase title No. 8 one final time.

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