By looking at the numbers Jimmie Johnson has posted since joining NASCAR Sprint Cup, you quickly realize why he’s the best.
In honor of Champions Week NASCAR.com writer posted this:
1 Track at which Johnson won for the first time: Kansas.
4 Longest stretch of races without a top-10 for Johnson: Talladega (April 27) through Lowe’s (May 27). He had two 13th-place finishes during that span but also two finishes of 30th or worse, including a season-worst 39th at LMS.
5 Runner-up finishes for Johnson, tied with Carl Edwards for most in the series.
6 Times Johnson gained the most points (195) in a race this year, most in the series.
7 Wins for Johnson, including five of the last 12 races.
8 Times Jimmie Johnson finished outside the top 15.
9 Consecutive top-10s for Johnson, one of two drivers with such a streak in 2008 (Kevin Harvick). Johnson’s streak ran from Fontana (Aug. 31) through Atlanta (Oct. 26).
11 Times Jimmie Johnson started on the pole. The six times he qualified for the top spot marked a career-high. He also was awarded the pole position five times after rainouts set the lineup by owner points. He won five races from the pole position.
22 Top-10s for Johnson, who has posted at least 20 top-10s in each of his seven full seasons in the Cup Series.
1,959 Laps led by Johnson, most in the series since 2001. Johnson led the most laps in 10 races and led at least one lap in all but seven races.
Of course, the key number for Johnson is three. As only the second driver to win three titles in a row, BTN looks at some other Johnson-related numbers with “3” in mind:
3 Races started by Johnson in his first year, with a best finish of 25th at Homestead.
13 Second-place finishes the past three years, two more than any other driver.
23 Fewest laps Johnson has completed in any Cup race. Johnson started on the pole at Watkins Glen in 2004, but suffered a DNF (engine).
33 Age Johnson will be by the time the 2009 Chase begins.
43 Wins in NASCAR for the 48 car, all but three by Jimmie Johnson: Bill Norton (1) in 1951 and James Hylton (2) in 1970 and ’72.
By no surprise, since Johnson began his run of titles he’s at the top of most statistical categories. A look at how good he has been:
10.3 Average finish the past three years, best in the series.
22 Wins the past three years, including eight in the Chase, which is most in the series.
48 Top-fives for the past three years, tied with Jeff Gordon for most in the series.
70 Top-10s the past three years, three more than the next-highest driver: Jeff Gordon.
13,198 Points accumulated the past three years, the only driver to reach 13,000. Jeff Gordon is second with 12,902.