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JOHNSON'S DOMINANCE AT TMS MAKING HISTORY
FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 9, 2015) - Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson’s name already is etched among the greats of NASCAR, but his victory in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway put him in some elite company.
>He drove the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet into Sunoco Victory Lane for the fourth consecutive time and hence become the seventh driver in NASCAR history to win a race four consecutive years.
Only six drivers had accomplished this feat 11 times previously. Richard Petty leads this list by doing so four times as he won the Nashville 400 at Nashville Speedway from 1964-67, the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway from 1967-70, the Gwyn Staley 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway from 1970-75 and the Capitol City 500 at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway from 1970-74. Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip have each successfully completed this twice while the other drivers to accomplish the feat are Dan Gurney, Rusty Wallace and Kyle Busch.
“What's tough is when you unload and you're off at a place you've had success because you show up calm and relaxed,” Johnson said. “When you're faced with some adversity, it's easy to overreact, easy to kind of hit the panic button, especially with all the pressure that's on the line. That's something you have to manage. Anybody with a streak at a particular track, you've got to show up with realistic expectations but enough swagger knowing it's a track that's good for you, then go get it done.”
The win also was Johnson’s 75th career victory putting him only one behind Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s seventh-place spot on NASCAR’s all-time win list.
“(Thinking about tying him is) hard to even put it into words,” Johnson said. “I came into this sport hoping to win a race. To have 75 of them is mind blowing. If I'm able to tie Senior, it's something I would be just extremely proud of.”
Johnson is getting closer to Earnhardt Sr. due in large part of his recent performances at Texas Motor Speedway. Besides winning the last four AAA Texas 500 races, he has won the last three and five of the last seven Sprint Cup races at the track.
“I feel like the tracks like Texas that are abrasive and bumpy fit my style, our team's style,” Johnson said. “This track has more content in it. I think the asphalt is on the older side of really anywhere we run. That really suits us well and fits for us.”
Johnson also became only the third NASCAR driver to sweep the two Cup races at Texas in the same season. Carl Edwards was the first to accomplish this in 2008 and then Denny Hamlin did so two years later.
"It's tough to work so hard all year long and not have a shot at the championship," Johnson said. "This is kind of a silver lining in that."
While Johnson will not be the series champion this season as he was eliminated after the first three races of the Chase, the victory showed him and his fans he is not backing down from competing.
“I wish I would have found a way to win a few more times this year,” said Johnson, who has five wins on the season. “It's been a long, dry summer. Glad I found the cape. Wasn't too dusty or too far away.”
That cape never is for Johnson at Texas Motor Speedway.