The Biggest Reasons Why Jimmie Johnson Won't Win His Fourth Championship

Jorge RodriguezContributor ISeptember 17, 2009

RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 12:  (Back row from L-R) Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot Chevrolet, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford, Mark Martin, driver of the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Dupont Chevrolet, (Front row L-R) Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Budweiser Dodge, Kurt Busch, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota, and Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, pose with the Sprint Cup trophy following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 12, 2009 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

This is probably one of the easier articles to write, with an even simpler answer.

The reason this isn't going to be Jimmie Johnson's year is becuase of one big reason... Chad Knaus is not the smartest crew chief on pit road this year. Look at what Darian Grubb has done for Tony Stewart, any one see similarities to Knaus and Johnson of years past?

Usually week in and week out we are stuck listening to how Knaus made a good call and saved a good finish for Jonnson.

Not this season.

Johnson, and for that matter all of Hendrick Motorsports (Mark Martin is the exception to this) has not been as dominant as they have been in years past heading into the Chase. I have said all season long this was going to Mark Martin or Tony Stewart's year.

With 10 races left my predctions seem like a pretty good bet. Alan Gustafson and Martin along with Grubb and Stewart, seem to be the teams to beat. And they will leave Johnson and Knaus thinking about what could have been.

Now don't think I don't like Jimmie, because I do. He has made every other driver step up and actually drive for their ridiculously large pay checks. This year is very similar to the early Jeff Gordon years.

What happened then?

Roush-Fenway Racing caught up to Hendrick, but it seems Hendrick is moving back to the top with Martin, Johnson, Stewart, and Gordon. Roush is on the decline it seems, but we all know he will be back next season.

And you can't count out Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and even RedBull Racing to be threats year in and year out.

So when the final checkered flag flies at Homestead in November, and either Mark Martin has won his first championship or Tony Stewart is lifting his third, we like Chad and Jimmie will have all off season to wonder what could have been.