Jimmie Johnson has been horrific in the last four races. Johnson has finished 40th, 36th, 28th and 40th in order. Yet, Johnson doesn’t seem to be concerned — though he should be.
“That was a tough night,” Johnson noted on Richmond International Raceway via ESPN.com. “We just would run through the right-front tire for whatever reason. The car was really tight, and it would wear it out that right front and it finally blew one of them.
It didn’t help that Johnson missed practice and qualifying on Friday at the track, but he had a great reason as he was waiting for the arrival of his new-born daughter at the hospital. And even though Johnson hasn’t raced as well he’s capable of, he sees a positive light in the scheme of things.
“At the majority of the tracks that resemble the Chase, we’ve been fast,” Johnson also noted via ESPN.com. “I’m just glad Richmond and Bristol aren’t in the Chase.”
He’s right that Richmond and Bristol MotorSpeedway are not in the chase, but that doesn’t mean he can just flip the switch and be on his way to a sixth Sprint Cup championship. Momentum is a serious factor in NASCAR — probably more than any other professional sport. When you are a rolling, you are on fire. When things go bad, things go really bad.
I still think Johnson is the favorite, but not by much. Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch have proven to be serious threats, and with the way Johnson has been running, he may be out of contention in the first three weeks.