Tha Sports Junkies 101

Johnson Faces Must Win At Phoenix For Shot At Championship

Photo by Chamberland_F1 via Flickr


Johnson must win at Phoenix, sits 51 points from cutoff line

The Monster Energy defending champ Jimmie Johnson needs to find that Golden Horseshoe that he has hidden away if he expects to win this week at Phoenix Raceway.

Approaching Pheonix, Johnson sits below the cutline and faces a virtual must win situation. The only other shot Jimmie has at getting his 8th championship rests in help from other drivers.

Obviously, if Johnson wins, he will clinch. If not, he could earn his way in on points with a Busch/Truex/Harvick win or a non Playoff driver win.

Johnson is trying to surpass Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr, who both hold a record seven titles each, to achieve something no other driver has done – win a record 8 NASCAR championships.

In 28 career starts at the one mile track, Johnson has racked up 4 wins, 15 top 5’s and 20 top 10’s.

Johnson’s struggles are clear. He finished 27th at Texas and hasn’t cracked the top 10 since Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he finished 7th.

But still, that was 4 weeks ago. And Phoenix Raceway is Johnson’s last shot at making this year’s finale.


Johnson is not making it easy for himself to dig out of the huge hole that he is in.

Has there been a time that Johnson has NOT made the Final 4 in Homestead? Or been this far down in the rankings?

Johnson succumbed to elimination in both 2014 and 2015, well short of the Final 4.

Johnson sits 8th in the points standings – out of 8 drivers. He only earned a spot in the third round of the playoffs because of a fluke engine failure on the 42 car.

The hopes of Johnson pulling out a win at Phoenix Raceway are the same as the hopes of any other driver who is stuck under the cut line – he needs good timing, good luck, and good vibes.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson can pull off an upset. Don’t count the 48 out at Phoenix Raceway.

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