Jimmy Johnson coming off his fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, is looking to raise the bar and take it to the next level. If the pressure to win four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships wasn’t enough to rattle Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus, will the drive for five consecutive titles have any effect?
Featured on HBO Documentary series 24/7
The hype has already begun, with Johnson participating in a whirlwind media tour, culminating with a four part HBO documentary series usually reserved for boxing icons. HBO’s series 24/7 is normally reserved for the biggest upcoming boxing pay-per-view matches. This year HBO approached Jimmy Johnson and owner Rick Hendrick about the teams preparation for the Super Bowl of NASCAR, the Daytona 500.
The show not only follows Johnson and his team, lead by Knaus, on the journey to prepare for the Daytona 500, it also delves into their drive for their unprecedented fifth consecutive 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season. The show also follows Johnson’s personal life and the intricacies of a NASCAR drivers daily grind. From hopping on a Lear jet to race in the 24 Hours of Daytona to using the same jet to fly parts in after he crashed his Daytona Prototype race car. Did that sound sarcastic?
#48 team gets the old school treatment from NASCAR
In the early years of NASCAR, then president Bill France Sr. had a method to deal with a dominant team in NASCAR’s cup division. When a driver became too dominant, France would approach him and say “Your stinking up my show.” The subtle hint was, fall back once in a while to make it look more difficult and give the fans a better show.
France’s next step was to take the car after the race and completely disassemble it for all the drivers to see. The message, don’t go out and dominate the race and send the fans for the exits with 100 laps to go in the event. The #48 has received the new NASCAR treatment similar to the old school days. NASCAR has confiscated the #48 car on several occasions over the past four years and torn it apart at it’s NASCAR Research and Development complex in North Carolina.
The rules changes for NASCAR in 2010 attempt to level the playing field.
The new rule changes in NASCAR for 2010 could be an attempt to prevent Jimmy Johnson and Chad Knaus from winning an unthinkable, fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup. See a breakdown of all the new rules here. The rule that stands out, is the removal of the rear wing. Since the new car has been used the wing has become an issue for many teams but the #48 team has had it dialed in since it was introduced.
NASCAR elected not to tweak the Race to the Chase, which is another aspect of why Jimmy Johnson and the #48 team have dominated, winning the last four NASCAR Sprint Cup titles. The only change in the Chase the last few years has been the addition of two more drivers, visit this web-site.
Jimmy Johnson has never had great luck in the Daytona 500.
Johnson has rarely started the season well at Daytona. Johnson has one win in the Daytona 500 in 2006 but aside from that, Johnson has always struggled with doing well at the Super Bowl of NASCAR. When the “Big One” happens at the Daytona 500, Johnson is usually around it. The remaining part of the season, Johnson manages to avoid chaos but the Daytona 500 is Johnson’s Achilles heel.
The media picks Johnson as pre-season pick for NASCAR champ.
The media, for the first time, actually picked Johnson to win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup title. The fact that the media had not picked Johnson to win the title until this year speaks volumes in regards to Johnson’s unprecedented four title runs.