Tha Sports Junkies 101

Can Johnson Show Improvement in Phoenix?

Photo by NASCAR Media


2018 has not been the season that Jimmie Johnson or Team 48 have been looking for up to this point. However, last week at Las Vegas saw Jimmie finish 12th after early struggles. With this bit of momentum, can the 48 car have a strong run in Phoenix?

In 29 career starts at ISM Raceway, Johnson has 4 wins, 20 top 10s, and 990 laps led. His 4 win record is second-most among active drivers at Phoenix, as Kevin Harvick has 8 wins.

However, the most recent Phoenix triumph for team 48 was all the way back in 2009. But do not let this stat deter his chances, as Jimmie did win last spring at Bristol, his first win there since 2010.

While Jimmie is at a meager 29th in points after 3 races, there is still a lot of racing left before the Playoff field is set. Johnson is no stranger to early-season struggles. In fact, he has been slow to start in 2 of his championship seasons, 2007 and 2009. In both of those years, Jimmie’s start to the year was his worst by the stats.

So the big question here is, can team 48 turn around their slump this weekend at Phoenix? While a win may be a lot to ask for them, a foundation for a solid season can be set this weekend. Roughly two-thirds of Jimmie’s starts at Phoenix have resulted in top 10 performances. In short, the path to a record 8th championship can start this weekend, if Jimmie is able to have a solid run inside the top 10.

Don’t miss a minute of racing action from Phoenix! The Ticket Guardian 500 will be live from ISM Raceway on Sunday, March 11 at 3:30 PM EST. Coverage will be live on Fox, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.