Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Fourth NASCAR Day of Christmas: Four Championships

In case you didn't hear it enough in November, let me reiterate. Jimmie Johnson is the first-ever consecutive four-time Cup champion in NASCAR history.

Dale Earnhardt didn't do it. Richard Petty didn't do it. And alas, neither did Cale Yarborough. Johnson and Johnson alone is king of the NASCAR heap.

And that's not all. In 2009, Johnson took seven trips to Victory Lane, racked up 16 top five finishes and led a career-high 2,238 laps.

Not bad for a guy who's only been racing at NASCAR's highest level since 2001.

And the hits keep coming. Today, it was announced that Johnson has won the Driver of the Year Award for the third time - an honor which encompasses all the racing series in the United States and is voted on by 20 journalists and broadcasters nationwide.

With stats and accolades coming out his ears, you might ask what can possibly be left for the champ to conquer?

Only a little thing called the Rolex 24 at Daytona. That's where you'll find Johnson come January 30 and 31, as he races with teammates Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney and Jimmy Vasser. To date, Johnson's best finish at the marathon event is second place - a spot he earned in both 2005 and 2008. But with a win this go-round, Johnson would become the first Cup champ EVER to win the Rolex title.

And a win for JJ isn't that far-fetched. If the past four years are any indication, Johnson will likely best this race too. Right now, there doesn't seem to be any kryptonite that can slow Superman down.

Photo info: Jimmie Johnson celebrates his fourth consecutive Sprint Cup championship at Homestead, courtesy of Reuters

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