It is not often that Jimmie Johnson loses on the final lap.
However, that is exactly what happened last year as Johnson was just edged out down the stretch of the 2012 NASCAR season by new rival Brad Keselowski.
Keselowski beat Johnson by a meager 39 points last season and it took BK until the final race of the year to hold off Johnson for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion. It was easily one of the most disappointing finishes in Johnson’s heralded career.
Johnson needed to have an outstanding race to take the points title, but he unfortunately finished 36th and it was shockingly his second worst performance of the entire 2012 NASCAR season. This was one of the rare occasions in Johnson’s career where he didn’t win under pressure, so don’t expect it to become a habit.
Johnson still managed to win five races last season, including an amazing 18 top-five finishes and 24 top-10 finishes. He dominated oval tracks all season long and will no doubt win a handful of races again in 2013.
The five-time Sprint Cup Champ is still easily one of the best fantasy drivers ever. Fantasy NASCAR fans should not shy away from him after one down year because he is still one of the best behind the wheel.
Johnson doesn’t have many poor seasons back-to-back, so a bounce back year seems almost inevitable for the #48 car. Look for him to be the 2013 fantasy NASCAR driver of the year and add another Sprint Cup Title to his ever-shrinking trophy shelf.