The final day is upon us. It’s Day 35 of my 35-part series featuring all those drivers guaranteed a spot in the Daytona 500 next Sunday.
It’s been a long journey, but one that’s been well worth it everyday.
Today we look at the three-time defending champion, Jimmie Johnson.
The No. 48 team has been on a pedestal above every other team in the garage in the past three years. Sure, last year, they started to look human, until the last quarter of the season and most importantly, the Chase.
Although this team has won three in a row, Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus aren’t satisfied. In fact, a few weeks back, Johnson said he couldn’t believe that the media were all picking Edwards as the favorite heading into 2009.
Pitting Johnson as the underdog? Not a good idea! This team already is top-notch and doesn’t need any locker-room bulletin material to encourage even better results.
Heading into 2009, Johnson is still the man to beat. He is still the champion and will be so until someone can prove they can outrun him in the Chase.
Could this be the year we see history made with four championships in a row? Or will we see a new champ crowned come Homestead?
Either way, the season is about to kick-off and will be ending before we know it!
Here is today’s preview:
Today’s Spotlight: No. 48
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Driver 2008 Stats: Johnson earned more than $7.3 million with seven wins in 2008. He finished the year with 15 top-fives and 22 top-10 finishes en route to his third consecutive championship. He also averaged a finish of 11th.
News: The biggest news surrounding Johnson during the off season was him cutting his finger with a kitchen knife prior to getting behind the wheel of a car during the Rolex 24 last month.
Honestly, for most teams, no news is good news. This team has plenty of headlines coming up in 2009, all of which will probably include the words: win, points leader and four-peat?
My Prediction for 2009: You can’t count this team out—ever! In 2009, I predict this team will have another spectacular year and finish anywhere between first and fourth in the points.
Will this team remain in top-35: Yes!
Up Tomorrow: The Budweiser Shootout!
This story also appears on my blog: Sports 101
Reminder: Tomorrow is the Budweiser Shootout!