NASCAR

The greatest driver?

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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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I think it’s hard to make a case that Jimmie Johnson isn’t the best driver the sport of NASCAR has ever seen. That isn’t to take anything away from our seven-time champions Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt Sr., but the pace at which Jimmie and his No. 48 team have accomplished six championships is simply mind-boggling.

Just look at the numbers if you need proof. The No. 48 team has been in existence for 12 years now. In those 12 short years they have won six championships. Obviously that equates to for 50 percent of their existence, they have been the best of the best. Just in the last eight years alone they have been crowned our sports champion six times.

To me, what makes all this even more remarkable is they continue to do it against stronger and stronger competition. The competition in our sport is at an all-time high. Sunday, with his win at Homestead, Denny Hamlin became the 17th different winner this season alone. That’s almost a different winner every other race.

All of Jimmie’s championships have been under the Chase format. They’ve done it throughout the various rule changes. They’ve won championships with the old car, the car of tomorrow and now with the new Gen-6 car. They won under the old Chase format of 10 Chase drivers. They’ve won it under the new Chase format of 12 drivers. Heck, this year they have even won in a 13 car Chase field.

So my point is it really doesn’t matter what you throw at them, they will find a way to win. So we are getting really close to being able to say with utmost confidence that Jimmie is the greatest driver our sport has ever seen.
 

Tagged: Jimmie Johnson

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