We have all heard and read the comments. A fan, teams, texts, tweets, and articles all about how sick people are getting of seeing the dominance of Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team.
Let it be said you can rant and rave, but Johnson won’t be listening. Because instead he’s focused on doing the best he can, and on the history he and his Lowe’s team are trying to make.
He occasionally catches wind of a comment or three, but it doesn’t stay on his mind.
“If I worry about what other people think then I’m not worrying about my racecar,” Johnson said.
Like water off the back of a duck, he lets everything but his driving roll off. He ditches it all, not watching media coverage or reading any articles to stay in the zone. When asked about the comparisons made between his dominance and other sports dynasties, his response was “I can’t say I’ve been paying attention enough to know.”
Johnson has a one-track mind when it come to the races in the Chase, which he’s dominated the last three years, and on one track at a time. One week at a time.
It’s not as easy as Johnson and his team seem to make it look.
“To operate at this level is so tough to do,” he said.
“So many things change every year,” he added, referencing everything from team personnel and Goodyear tires, to the ever-changing technology and the rules that harness them.
On Friday, nothing changed for the No. 48 team as it headed to a track it's dominated in the past and got to work doing it again. To those who may be wondering about Martinsville qualifying, Johnson isn’t worried.
“Race trim was really, really good in practice," he said. "We didn’t spend a lot of time in qualifying trim. And unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we are going to start up where we wanted to (starts 15th on Sunday). But it is what it is.”
Johnson is who he is—a driver that has won five of the last six races at this paperclip shaped track—and he’s very happy about that and everything it entails.
“My goals really remain the same," he said. "This is where I want to be, I love driving for Hendrick Motorsports.”
The defending winner at Martinsville, and winner of the last two Chase races, looks to have a good showing in Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500 to continue toward his goal of winning a fourth consecutive championship.