What if There was no Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus?
11. Clint Bowyer
Clint Bowyer would add three more wins to his eight, moving him up to to 56th in all time wins. He would be one spot above Donnie Allison and Sterling Marlin.
10. Greg Biffle
Greg Biffle would add three more wins to his eighteen, moving him up to 26th in all time wins. He would be tied with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Benny Parsons and Jack Smith. Yes I have tried to keep track of the changes.
9. Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch would add three more wins to his twenty four, moving him up to 20th in all time wins.
8. Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin would have three more wins to add to twenty two wins. Moving him up 22nd in all time wins tied with Joe Weatherly and Jim Paschal. Even more impressive he would have won the championship in 2010.
7. Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards would have four additional wins to add to his twenty wins, moving him up to 23rd in all time wins. He would be tied with Ricky Rudd. More importantly he would have won the championship in 2008.
6. Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon would also have four additional wins to go with his 87 wins. He would still be third in all time wins with 91, 14 wins from David Pearson. Jeff Gordon would be called five time since he would have won another championship in 2007.
5. Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick would have four additional wins to go with his twenty on wins. This would move him up to 22nd in all time wins. He would be tied with Denny Hamlin, Joe Weatherly and Jim Paschal.
4. Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch would have five additional wins on top of his 26 wins for a total of 31 wins. He would be 19th all time, just below Dale Jarrett.
3. Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth would also have five additional wins on top of his 27 wins for a total of 32 wins. He would be tied for 18th in all time wins with Dale Jarrett. He would have an additional championship in 2006.
2. Mark Martin
Mark Martin would have an unbelievable six additional wins to add to his 40 wins. This would move him up to a tie with Buck Baker 12th in all time wins. Mark Martin would also have gotten the elusive championship in 2009.
1. Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart would have an additional seven wins to go with his 48 wins for a total of 55 wins. This would tie him with Rusty Wallace eight in all time wins.
There you have it, the thought was that some of the drivers who didn’t live up to expectations would have benefited. The reality is, only the really good drivers benefited. It was a fun experiment but Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus did not take anything away from anyone. Though the other drivers numbers might be better their standings in history didn’t really change.
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Last week in NASCAR there was talk about some of the drivers who started in this sport with lots of promise and expectations. That talk led to discussions on how Jimmie Johnson’s dominance affected the sport.
They might as well start building the Jimmie Johnson wing in the NASCAR Hall of fame because he is that good and will beat the numbers put up by the drivers who are already in the Hall. That’s an article for another day but he will at least get to and exceed Dale Earnhardt’s number of championships and race wins.
The discussion about those drivers that came into the sport with lots of expectations ran the gamut of they weren’t that good to begin with to economic problems not of their doing. Those questions also lead to another one. What if Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus were not paired together or in the sport? Could the fact that they were so good have kept other drivers from getting those race wins and championships?
So in the interest of answering those questions or just realizing the question is silly to begin with here it goes. The answers will surprise you.
The rules are simple. For each of the 63 race wins and five championships those were given to the runner up. Sure drivers like Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, and Casey Mears who have not lived up to their expectations would have gotten an additional win but so would Bill Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Jeremy Mayfield, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, Ricky Rudd, and Robby Gordon. Hardly career changing numbers.
Bobby Labonte, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton would each get two additional wins. This would have been good for them but not career changers.
Here is where it gets interesting. The following is the eleven drivers whose career would have been much different.