Skip to content

With 6th title in sight, Johnson stays in the present

Nov 14, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

Bank of America 500 - Practice Getty Images

By finishing 23rd or better this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Jimmie Johnson will claim his sixth Sprint Cup championship and continue to build his argument as one of the best that NASCAR has ever seen.

But right now, his mind is focused on what lies ahead in the next three days – putting the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet up front tomorrow in qualifying, fine-tuning the car through Saturday, and then get the job done in Sunday’s season-finale.

As he said Thursday during a press conference at Homestead, Johnson is a guy that lives in the present. The time to count up all the accolades will come later.

“I’ve not been one to look at stats and pay attention to what’s been ahead of me and use that as motivation,” Johnson explained. “I also think a lot of that is due to the fact that I didn’t win a lot growing up – I didn’t grow up thinking that way.”

Those days are long gone. 66 wins and five titles with Hendrick Motorsports later, Johnson and his team have become the standard-bearers and the group that everybody strives to beat.

And with that proverbial target on his back, Johnson’s job to stay on top is a never-ending one. Considering his future place in history does not help in completing that job. Thus, he chooses not to dwell upon that often.

“Of course, yes, I’d love to win this year – I’d love to win a seventh or an eighth, just go on and on,” Johnson said. “That’s what you want to do. Is it realistic? I have no clue. And, honestly, I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it.”

Not that Johnson is completely immune to such thoughts. He noted that a friend of his once told him that limits begin when the vision ends. And with that, he tries to, in his words, “think a little bit and dream” every now and then.

How far does that dream go? Those seventh and eighth championships that would tie and then surpass both the beloved Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Sr.? Or maybe, something even more incredible – say, 10 titles perhaps?

That’s all for us to ponder over, though. Again, Johnson isn’t one to worry about the future and where his place will be among the greats. What matters to him is what’s happening now – namely, making sure he defeats Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick to get that championship “six-pack.”

“That’s just the way I’ve been,” he said. “Show up at the race track each week, count the races that go by, and hope you’ll have a shot at the end.”

Latest Posts
  1. Kimi Raikkonen confident of improvements at Ferrari

    Jul 28, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    Finn underlines his belief in the team to turn things around in 2014.

  2. McLaren gamble backfires for Button and Magnussen

    Jul 28, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    Hungary F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Decision to fit wet weather tires in anticipation of more rain scuppers hopes of big points in Hungary.

  3. Gordon’s Brickyard legacy superb, but can’t be compared to other Indy legends

    Jul 27, 2014, 7:52 PM EDT

    Jeff Gordon AP

    A world of differences make it impossible to weigh Jeff Gordon’s accomplishments at Indy against those of A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Al Unser Sr., and Michael Schumacher.

  4. Kyle Larson has solid outing in first Brickyard 400

    Jul 27, 2014, 6:52 PM EDT

    (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

    INDIANAPOLIS – Jeff Gordon gave himself an early 43rd birthday present with Sunday’s Brickyard 400 win. Kyle Larson also gave himself an early birthday present – his 22nd will be Thursday – with a solid seventh-place finish in his first Brickyard.

  5. Joe Gibbs Racing has great overall Brickyard run, but Denny Hamlin’s car could have issues

    Jul 27, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT

    joe gibbs AP

    INDIANAPOLIS – It wasn’t quite the 1-2-3 finish they might have hoped for, but it was almost just as good for Joe Gibbs Racing’s three drivers in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch finished second to winner Jeff Gordon, followed by Denny Hamlin in third and Matt Kenseth was fourth.

  6. Kyle Busch picks up 3rd runner-up finish in last 4 races

    Jul 27, 2014, 5:41 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 Getty Images

    Rowdy continues his strong performance as of late with another P2 at Indianapolis.

  7. Kasey Kahne unable to hang on late at the Brickyard

    Jul 27, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    Kasey Kahne AP

    Kasey Kahne led a race-high 70 laps, but lost the Brickyard 400 lead to Jeff Gordon on a restart with 16 laps to go and faded to sixth.

  8. Jeff Gordon wins record 5th Brickyard 400 in vintage fashion

    Jul 27, 2014, 4:17 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Robert Baker) AP

    INDIANAPOLIS – It was an oldie but goodie performance as Jeff Gordon – seven days short of his 43rd birthday – rallied late to win Sunday’s 21st Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  9. Hungarian GP Paddock Notebook – Sunday

    Jul 27, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Hungary F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    One final round-up from the Hungaroring following Daniel Ricciardo’s supreme victory.

  10. Broken axle spoils Danica Patrick’s day, Brickyard win hopes

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:53 PM EDT

    (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

    A broken rear axle ended Danica Patrick’s day prematurely in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  11. Brickyard 400 Update: Strategies shifting, but Kahne’s leading at halfway

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:43 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 Getty Images

    Strategy plays have been plentiful in the first half of today’s race at Indianapolis.

  12. Sebastian Vettel struggles to seventh in Hungary after spin

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    Defending world champion has a quiet race at the Hungaroring; now 43 points behind Ricciardo in the drivers’ championship.

  13. Hamilton unsure why he was asked to let Rosberg past

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    Hungary F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Briton was asked twice to let Rosberg past, but he defied team orders on both occasions.

  14. Carl Edwards says he has a 2015 deal “worked out”

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT

    Camping World RV Sales 301 - Practice Getty Images

    “I have a deal moving forward. I can’t announce it yet. When all those pieces come together, it’ll be announced and we’ll talk about it.” – Edwards

  15. Perez and Ericsson crash hard in Hungary (VIDEOS)

    Jul 27, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    Big crashes for both Perez and Ericsson, but luckily neither suffered any injuries.

  16. Alonso: Second place “a nice surprise” for Ferrari

    Jul 27, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    Best result of the season for Ferrari with Alonso second and Kimi Raikkonen P6.

  17. Announcement of Edwards’ exit from Roush Fenway had some strange timing

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 - Practice Getty Images

    By making announcement hours before Brickyard 400, team owner Jack Roush didn’t seem to do Edwards any favors.

  18. Rosberg disappointed with fourth place behind Hamilton (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    Championship lead shrinks by three points after finishing half a second behind Hamilton at the flag.

  19. Hungry Hamilton charges from the pit lane to the podium

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    Cuts the gap to Nico Rosberg by three points, leaving the gap at just eleven for the summer break.

  20. Ricciardo elated with second Formula 1 victory in Hungary

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    Red Bull driver won a sensational grand prix ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.