Possible upset special

Barry Cantrell/HHP for Chevy Racing Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Camaro ZL1, finishes in 35th place Sunday September 8, 2019 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Johnson, who was sidelined with an on-track incident on Lap 106, missed qualifying for the Playoffs for the first time in his NASCAR career. (Photo by Barry Cantrell/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Jimmie Johnson missed making the Monster Energy Series Playoff field for the first time in his seven-championship, 16-year career after being collected in an accident midway through last week’s regular season finale.

However, as Johnson immediately assured his faithful fans, he is far from being out of the trophy mix. He’s won at nine of the upcoming 10 Playoff tracks (although he’s won at the Charlotte oval, he hasn’t won on the Roval road course configuration) and happens to be the all-time winningest driver at Las Vegas with four victories.

He won an unprecedented three straight races from 2005-07 and four races in a span of six years from 2005-2010. He was runner-up to Tony Stewart in 2012 and finished third in 2016. His 595 laps led is most among all active drivers.

He was 22nd in last year’s Vegas Playoff race and 19th at the track earlier this spring.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame-bound driver said after the race, “I’m sleeping easier. I can’t wait to have the results start showing up. Months ago, it was tough because we couldn’t really get anything going our way. Now we have the optimism of strong qualifying sessions, strong race cars and races. We just need to get to the finish line.’’

And he proclaimed on social media Monday morning after the Indy disappointment, “Well how about that. … the sun still came up. 10 races to go and we are as determined as ever. #DoItRight”


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