Skip to content

Johnson seeks first Cup win at Michigan

Jun 14, 2013, 9:58 PM EDT

Quicken Loans 400 - Practice Getty Images

It seems hard to believe, but indeed there are places where five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has never won a race – five of them, actually. One of those facilities where Johnson hasn’t gone to Victory Lane is Michigan International Speedway, site of this weekend’s Quicken Loans 400.

To say that Johnson has been up-and-down recently on the two-mile oval may be putting it mildly. In last year’s pair of races at MIS, Johnson finished fifth in June despite running out of gas on the final lap but then suffered a DNF when the Cup circus came back in August. Going back to 2011, a parts failure led to a 27th-place result in the June race, but in August, he turned in a runner-up effort.

2010 saw him finish 6th (June) and 12th (August), which were improvements from his MIS runs in 2009; in June of that year, he ran out of gas and finished 22nd despite leading 146 of 200 laps, and later that August, more fuel problems sent him to a 33rd-place finish after leading 133 circuits.

Suffice to say, Johnson’s itching to finally get that Michigan win under his belt.

“I’ve been ready for a long time,” said Johnson, who won last weekend at Pocono Raceway in dominant style. “We’ve been so close here. But, when it happens, it will make it all that sweeter for us. The exciting thing is we’ve been plenty fast here over the years. But getting to the final lap and seeing that checkered flag has been a little more difficult than I could imagine.”

But even without a win at MIS, he’s still managed to come away with plenty of hardware in his career. This time, he comes to Michigan with a strong 51-point edge over Carl Edwards in the championship, something that he said he couldn’t think of having when the season began.

That lead, as he also noted, could be bigger at this time if not for problems at the Coca-Cola 600 last month and more recently at Dover International Speedway, where a restart penalty cost him a potential win.

“I look at Charlotte and Dover as misses to even have 20 or 30 more points,” he said. “I really am shocked that we are so far out ahead of everybody. And I know that the No. 20 [Matt Kenseth] has had some bad luck and a couple of other guys have, too. But we’ve had a little bad luck as well.”

Latest Posts
  1. Roczen, Dungey will settle championship fight at Motocross season finale today

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice

    The 450 Class championship battle between Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen has come down to the final race of the season. Who will leave Utah with a title in hand?

  2. Alonso matches best 2014 qualifying result at Spa

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Ferando Alonso AP

    Fourth place a welcome surprise for Fernando Alonso and Ferrari.

  3. WATCH LIVE: Utah National qualifying and pre-show at 1 p.m. ET; Tomac, Martin currently top the charts

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:40 PM EDT

    Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice

    The final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has arrived. Watch the second qualifying session at 1 p.m. ET and the pre-show at 2:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra.

  4. Bianchi impresses once again to make Q2 for Marussia

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Jules Bianchi AP

    For the second year in a row, Bianchi managed to upset some of the bigger names during qualifying at Spa.

  5. McLaren not planning to leave driver decision until off-season

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Practice Getty Images

    Racing director Eric Boullier says that a decision will be made before the season is out.

  6. Report: Darlington returning to Labor Day weekend on 2015 NASCAR schedule

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson AP

    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series had raced at the track “Too Tough To Tame” on Labor Day weekend from 1950-2003.

  7. Mistakes from Hulkenberg result in Q1 elimination

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    P18 on the grid goes down as the Hulk’s second-worst qualifying result in F1.

  8. Vettel: Third the best Red Bull could achieve today

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Defending world champion qualifies a distant third behind the two Mercedes cars on Saturday at Spa.

  9. Brake problem hinders Hamilton in Q3, but he is pleased with P2

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    2008 world champion secures his first top five qualifying result since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June.

  10. Rosberg delighted with “awesome” pole position at Spa

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Mercedes locks out the front row of the grid for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June, with Rosberg claiming pole at one of the sport’s most famous circuits.

  11. Hamilton: Beating Rosberg when he’s at his best “more painful”

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Lewis wants to beat Rosberg when the German is at the peak of his powers, as the two drivers fight for this year’s F1 world title.

  12. Rosberg tames wet conditions to claim Belgian GP pole

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    German driver takes pole at a damp Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday afternoon.

  13. Alonso accepts Ice Bucket Challenge, nominates Montezemolo and Briatore (VIDEO)

    Aug 23, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Monaco F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    The Ferrari driver took the plunge after being nominated by Felipe Massa and soccer player Juan Manuel Mata.

  14. WATCH LIVE: Belgian GP qualifying – can anyone stop Mercedes?

    Aug 23, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

    Nico Rosberg AP

    You can watch qualifying from Spa-Francorchamps live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET.

  15. Red Bull GRC: Daytona race and course preview (VIDEO)

    Aug 23, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

    Coke Zero 400 - Practice Getty Images

    The Daytona round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross is a key one and kicks off the second half of the 2014 season. Here’s more from Kristen Kenney heading into the weekend.

  16. Alonso backs Sainz to reach F1 despite Toro Rosso snub

    Aug 23, 2014, 7:15 AM EDT

    F1 Young Driver Tests - Silverstone: Day Three Getty Images

    Sainz was expected to get the Toro Rosso drive, but was rejected in favor of 16-year-old Max Verstappen.

  17. Newey: Belgium about damage limitation for Red Bull

    Aug 23, 2014, 6:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Qualifying Getty Images

    Red Bull’s chief technical officer isn’t getting his hopes up for this weekend’s race at Spa.

  18. Bottas breaks Mercedes’ stranglehold at Spa by topping FP3

    Aug 23, 2014, 6:03 AM EDT

    Valtteri Bottas AP

    Williams finishes practice for the Belgian GP with a flourish.

  19. WATCH LIVE: FP3 for the Belgian Grand Prix

    Aug 23, 2014, 4:45 AM EDT

    Fernando Alonso AP

    One final chance for the drivers and teams to get to grips with Spa ahead of qualifying later today.

  20. MRTI: Title battles to reach crescendo after intriguing Friday at Sonoma

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:09 AM EDT

    Photo: Pro Mazda AP

    Dramatic day for Pro Mazda, USF2000 Friday in Sonoma.

Video from NASCAR America

Why Bristol is such a unique track
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1618)
  2. K. Harvick (1314)
  3. I. Vences (1265)
  4. B. McReynolds (1105)
  5. K. Busch (1050)