Jimmie Johnson started 3rd on Sunday night at the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta. He led some laps , looked like he had overall a great top 5 car. But in a long run he fell off tremendously and ended up spinning out because he was so loose. Then he ended up breaking an axle went to garage and finished 36th 22 laps down.
In the last 5 races Jimmie Johnson has led laps in all of them. But he has also finished 13th, 12th, 33rd, 8th, and 36th. That is only 1 top ten and 2 finishes of 30th or worse, Not quite what we have come to expect from the 48 team.
The last 2 seasons this part of the year is usually when Johnson , Kanus, and the 48 bunch makes their charge for the championship by winning races right before the chase starts. But right now it is arguable that out of the drivers in the top 5 in points he is entering with the least momentum and the least confidence.
Tony Stewart has gotten a reality check in the last few races but his stats in the last 5 races are far better with a 10th, 1st,17th,33rd, and 11th.
To be honest Out of all the drivers in the top 5 in points the only entering with any kind of momentum is Denny Hamlin who has scored a win , 2 top fives, and 5 top tens in the last 5 races.
Johnson's team is fast, but they are right now lacking the consistency for a 4th cup championship and more so than any other season showing their weaknesses.
Can they overcome this? One can say yes this the chase is a totally new game and the points are restarted. But they can't have Jimmie spinning out due to an ill handling racecar, having ill handling racecars, mechanical issues, bad pitstops, and running out of fuel in the chase.